Saturday, March 28, 2015

Out of Auckland

Once again we were up before the sun to beat traffic out of Papakura into Auckland but this time we had to get ourselves around so lacked the luxury of being able to sleep through the car trip. I decided that it would be fun to briefly go North of Auckland and if the weather was god perhaps find a nice beach.

When we arrived in Central Auckland we found a place to park up and slept for a couple of hours while we waited for places to open. Beckett needed to get some more NZ cash and we both needed a quick breakfast.

After stopping by a money exchange and my favourite coffee shop in all of Auckland for food (The Strand Arcade Cafe off lower Queen Street) we hit the road and headed up towards warkworth since I knew how to get there and figured it was close to some nice beaches if we still wanted to do that with our day.

We found our way up to warkworth and after walking around for a bit, stopped for lunch at Pizza Co (which I recommend to anyone ever passing by Warkworth area) to plan out the day. We were both still relatively tired and neither of us was particularly keen on swimming or anything so we decided in the end to give the beach a miss.

Over lunch I had the thought to get in touch with my step - mother who lives in Wellsford, only a 20 minute drive from where we were to see if she was free for us to visit and see my little brother. She got back to us pretty quick and said she'd love for us to stop by so we decided that would be a fun thing to do. We were booked in that night at a campground in Orewa so our timing worked out for us to spend a few hours in Wellsford and then head over there for the evening.

When we got to Wellsford, Tania (step-mum) suggested we bail Levi out of kindy a couple of hours early and get some decent hang time with him. He was absolutely stoked to see me, something that doesn't happen to often with us living so far apart from each other. I got to have a look around his school and see some of the stuff he'd made there which he was pretty proud to show me.

We took him down to the park near the library and had a run around with him that wore us out more than him. Being a typical 5 year old kid, he kept going at about 100 miles an hour the whole time we were with him. He showed us around the library a little bit and took me to where all of the childrens books are which was pretty cool.

Tania invited us around for an early dinner after Levi sufficiently tuckered us all out and I figured it'd be cool to maximise our time there so we accepted. I sat and read books with Levi on the couch until dinner was ready and he picked out his favourite ones for me. It was awesome being able to spend some quality time with the kid.

After dinner, it was time for us to get back on the road and head out to our accommodation at Red Beach, Orewa. It was a relatively good day weather - wise so we had no problems on the road and generally made good time.

When we were all set up with the tent pitched on our site, we went for a quick drive down to the beach which was about a 5 minute drive from the campground. We had arrived around 6.30 PM so we still had a couple of daylight hours to enjoy the beach before sundown. We took a couple of beers and a rugby ball with us and enjoyed the last bit of our day in good old fashioned kiwi style, which capped it all off perfectly.

As the sun began to drop and the heat consequently began to back off with it, we settled back at the campground, ate some of the food we'd been given by Aida (leftover meat and salads from a barbecue we had the night before) and knocked back a couple more beers (for the record, we were drinking Speight's; the best New Zealand has to offer) and hit the hay in preparation for the next leg of our trip, cruising from Orewa down to Taupo.

In the next post I will be covering our journey to the free campsite just outside of Taupo and what we got up to when we were down there.

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