|Kayaking from the Ipipiri|
|A secluded historic homestead in the bay|
|Kayaking, snorkelling, bush walking.... Ipipiri in the background|
The captain found a sheltered anchorage off Moturua Island and we were all set to go. A large grill stern plate came up at the back of the boat and all the kayaks were lined up on it. We got into the kayaks and then the plate was slowly lowered into the water and away we went. A brilliant system. About a dozen of us set off to pick and poke about the bays and coves in smooth water so pristine we could see right down to the sea bed. After about an hour we pulled up on the beach to meet the others who had elected to bush walk or snorkel. I decided to do the bush walk too and headed off up the track, meeting the others on the way down. I continued to the top alone relishing the peace, tranquillity and sheer beauty of the area. This island is a nature reserve so is thick with birdlife and song.
|The well named Bay of Islands from my bush walk|
|Convivial dinner time|
We anchored for the night in a sheltered bay off Motuarohia Island and with the fresh sea air and afternoon activities taking their toll were all in bed early. I left my blinds up and fell asleep looking out on a glass-like sea reflecting a full moon and a million twinkling stars....magical.
|My family and I stayed in this historic cottage on the waterfront at Russell|
a tour of Auckland the next day. There were a few hours to fill in before the coach trip back to Auckland so I took the ferry to Russell and enjoyed a wander around this lovely village, remembering the many good times I had had there with my husband and sons and lingering over lunch at a seafront cafe.
|Sightseeing in Auckland the next day with my new American friends|
I would highly recommend this cruise as a taste of what life must be like on a super yacht. It is probably the best tourist activity I have ever done in New Zealand and I would happily do it again. Everyone was friendly and as a single person I did not feel the least out of place or excluded.