Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Camping in Raglan

Last Sunday I met up with a friend from work and we went on a little explore of East coast north of Auckland.  He knows the area well so was happy to show me some spots I've not been to before.

We began with brunch at a gorgeous little cafe in Matakana called Morris & James Pottery - it's a pottery (in case you hadn't guessed from the title) set inside a little brick courtyard with vines draping round everywhere - it was really cute, even with the rain pouring down.  I had a lush french toast with bacon and caramalised banana and Morry had eggs benedict (eggs benny if you're posh) and a million coffees.

We jumped back in the car and began our journey north to Te Arai Point, where Morry had decided on the activity of cliff jumping (!!).  However, first there were a few pitstops to be made!  We drove past a random animal cafe/art gallery and my request to stop and look round was granted with glee.  Sadly the animals weren't too interested in us but we had a wander around anyway.

Next we stopped off at Ti Point Reptile park, a vaguely indoor activity as it had started to bucket it down again.  There was an online voucher for half price entry but I didn't have any phone signal to buy it, but because it was raining and miserable and we were the only guests the owner let us in for half price anyway which was nice of him. We spent a good hour trying to spot all the camouflaged lizards and working out ways to steal the baby tortoises who were too cute. 

We then stopped off at Goat Island, a marine reserve which is really good for snorkelling.  The sea was too rough for that but we had a nice wee stroll along the beach anyways, and found a lost and confused sheep and lots of washed up pink and blue jellyfish.  

It was at this point that unfortunately the tide was too far out for cliff jumping to take place, something I was so incredibly gutted by (that's dripping with sarcasm by the way) therefore instead we jumped back into the car and headed off to Tawharanui Regional Park.  This is a really nice coastline which has a large fence going round it to protect it from pests.  We spent our time clambering round on the cliffs and going as close to the sea as we dared without getting splashed by the waves that were crashing into the shore.  We may have failed more than once.

Anyway - you know how last week I was saying I couldn't convince anyone to come to Raglan with me? Well Morry said he'd come, woo! (he is a surfer dude).  

So this Friday just gone we packed a bunch of camping stuff into the car and headed down south to Raglan.  We arrived at 10pm and set up the tent in the dark, went for a stroll along the beach which was cut short as the tide seemed to be coming in quite quick, warmed up with some fireball whiskey and headed off to bed.  

The following morning we went to make breakfast, except that stupid me had decided not to bring any cooking utensils with us because I was convinced the campsite would have stuff...they didn't....so we instead treated ourselves to breakfast at a local cafe before heading off to hike up Mt Karioi.

This hike was SO MUCH FUN.  The views weren't anything amazing but more due to being overcast than anything - but the hike itself was quite technical and involved scrambling up tree roots and rocks and using climbing holds and chains - quite the adventure.  

Te Toto Gorge, Raglan

Te Toto Gorge

Morry in traditional kiwi tramping camo...hahah

Mt Karioi, our destination is up there somewhere

Pretty amazing how the prevailing wind has made all the trees grow in one direction

Indiana Jones

Lara Croft?

I don't think I am very good at avoiding mud....

the viewpoint

That's some serious Tomb Raider shit right there

But also quite tiring - we had set aside the afternoon for surfing but the waves weren't very good and we were tired so instead we had a quick dip in the estuary because I really wanted to try my $10 wetsuit, then chilled out with more whiskey for the rest of the afternoon.  This makes me sound like an alcoholic but I promise I'm not...we mixed it with apple juice this time.  

On Sunday the weather was pretty terrible so we packed down the tent (right before the campsite flooded, good timing!) then had a leisurely breakfast and coffee in Raglan and catching the Sunday market where I made friends with a child and a dog.  I am so friendly these days. 

We made a pit stop at Bridal Veil Falls, which is really pretty awesome - looks like someone left the tap on.  

showing Morry the side seagull pose

It's a really cool waterfall!

such tourists

Awkward couple who aren't a couple photo

We drove back to Auckland, had lunch/drunch/linner at the belgian cafe in Mission Bay, then headed home.  It was such an awesome weekend - so nice to be camping again and waking up in the fresh air :) 

Back home I joined Amy and Colin at Steph and Simon's house to watch the Louis Theroux doco on Scientology - jeez those people are weird.  Then it was bed time and back to work for the 9-5...I only have 2 weeks left and I am feeling kind of sad.  It's nice I have started to make friends at work that I can hang out with outside of work, and my team are really nice and I am feeling like I know what I am doing, so I will miss it!  But I am also looking forward to something new (who knows what that'll be).

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