Bay of Islands & Swimming with Dolphins…

…. Or not as the case may be.

After leaving Rotorua, we had to make the decision, do we drive 3 hours to go and see some glowing maggots or do we drive 6 hours and go and swim with Dolphins. Pretty easy decision really and so we headed to Paihia in the Bay of Islands, right near the top of New Zealands North Island.

When we got there we checked into our hostel and went for a walk about town. Thats if you could call it a town, there wasn’t a lot there really. We booked a trip to go swimming with the Dolphins in the wild and crossed our fingers that we would a) have good weather and b) we would actually see some Dolphins.

This morning we got up at stupid o’clock and headed to the boat where we all boarded, rubbing our eyes and yawning. We set off accross the bay and there was nothing… not a thing. We saw one penguin that was about it. We had been told when we had boarded that it wasn’t guarenteed that we would see Dolphins and we’d heard that they hadn’t seen any for days. When this is the case they offer you another trip for free or a $20 refund. Whilst sitting there thinking i was going to go home disappointed i formulated a plan. I would refuse the $20 and take the free trip knowing full well i was heading to Auckland this afternoon. They way i figured, i could try to flog my free trip for $50 (half price) before shooting off. About 2 hours in to our 3 hour trip, everyone was getting a little disappointed that we hadn’t seen any, until bingo… we found some.

Everyone suddenly perked up a little and shot to the sides of the boat to get a good look. We saw a large pod of Dolphins which were on the move and we we’re all looking forward to getting in the water with them and playing. That was until we were told the bad news, there was infant Dolphins in the pod and so we couldn’t swim with them. I was gutted.

We all lay on the boat as close to the water as possible with our camera’s poised waiting for them to come close. When they did actually come close, getting a good photo was almost impossible they moved around so much. Luckily out of about 50 photos i got a few decent ones and one great one, so at least i left moderately happy.

We were back in Paihia by 12 and so we quickly had some lunch and then jumped in the car to head to Auckland. We arrived here a few hours ago and are supposed to be meeting a friend of Kates in a bar later tonight which should be cool. First impressions of Auckland…. Its like a miniture Sydney!!

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