Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Friday 7th October – Goat Island Marine Reserve / Matakana

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After a boring-ish Thursday of driving in the rain we woke up in our slightly rustic but very sweet campsite on Goat Island Marine Reserve in glorious sunshine:

The campsite was right in the reserve only a few minutes walk from the sea so we rented some wetsuits and fins (we have masks and snorkels) and headed out to snorkel in the ‘natural aquarium’. We only took the cheap underwater 35mm film camera we’d bought in Australia so you’ll have to wait until we get it developed to see if any pics came out, so here are some from google to give you the idea: Photos

29th October 2011: OK – here they are!

Randall looks mildly concerned about the approaching fins…

We had just got into the water and were flapping about getting our fins on when we saw two fins (the scary triangular kind) approaching us – I shot behind Randall for protection before we realised that they were dolphins coming to play! They disappeared again so we snorkelled around the rocks and out to the island, seeing lots of snapper, rays (including an alarmingly huge one) and various other pretty stripey fish, and then just when we were about to get out of the rather chilly water the dolphins reappeared, and hung around playing with the snorkellers (there were 6 other people also snorkelling), sweeping in and out of touching distance, round and round us (basically herding us!) so that was completely fantastic!

After handing back the kit and having hot showers we headed to Matakana as we had a discount voucher for lunch at the Ascension Vineyard where the food was glorious and the wine was pretty good too (Randall was driving but apparently the ginger beer was nice!).

The inevitable food pictures:

Seared hapuka (from NZ sustainable farming), colcannon wrapped in parma ham, and buttered broad beans. Mmmm-mmmmm!

roast nz duck breast | grilled polenta | broccolini

Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Two spoons.

Handmade chocolates.

Then it was off to Auckland to meet up with Randall's long-lost relatives. More specifically to attend the birthday of the daughter of the son of his father's half sister. Obviously. Lovely people, more food, plenty of wine, and a civilised nightcap back at Keith's place where we spent the night in a real bed, and had hot showers without having to immediately go outside afterwards...luxury!
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Written by helenbcn

October 8, 2011 at 4:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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