So this week I’ve travelled all the way to up Paihia with Stray Travel. Stray Travel is “New Zealand’s flexible bus network for adventurous travellers”. It was my first time traveling with Stray so I was a bit nervous, but it all turned out very well.

When you travel up north of Auckland, you see the words ‘Kauri Trees’ almost everywhere. So, naturally, on our way to Paihia, we decided make a stop to go and see these ‘Kauri Trees’. We were told that these trees were very important to the Maoris and that it was good luck to hug them. And of course everyone can use a bit of luck eh? So…. I guess I am slowly becoming a tree hugging hippie now.

When I arrived in Paihia, my AirBnB host picked me up from the bus station and we drove to his house atop the hill. The view from up his house is insane. From the living room, you have a perfect view of the ‘town’ and the beach.

One of the roommates even said that I’ve already claimed my spot in the house. (Yes, that’s true, almost every day I claim my spot on the red chair next to the window, and just stare outside that window and see the sunset).

I really love the sunset and sunrise, and I am on a holiday so… why not? I crawled out of my bed really, really early to capture this beautiful sunrise. But because my AirBnB place is upon a hill, you have to walk down the hill. Sounds logical, right? But instead of taking the road you just take a 5 minute bush walk down to the city. And that is just amazing when it’s really early in the morning, because there is no traffic, no people just nothing but my own crispy footsteps. But not so amazing when you have to walk all the way down when it’s dark outside and you really can’t see where you’re walk at that moment. But it was worth it!

After that beautiful sunrise, I walked to the bus stop where a bunch of people were waiting to go to Cape Reinga, so was I! On our way to Cape Reinga our bus driver told us many things about the Maori people and what we’d see the moment we drove by.

We stopped at many places and one of them was “90 Miles Beach”. I still don’t know why they call it 90 miles beach? The beach is actually just 55 miles long. But it was cool to drive with a bus over the sand and through the water. This endless beach was really nice to capture on camera!

After a 5 hour drive we arrived at Cape Reinga. A beautiful place with an amazing view. We had the time to walk around and take a good look at the The Tasman Sea and Pacific Sea crash together.

Cape Reinga: “Where oceans meet and Spirits depart”.

On our way back from Cape Reinga to Paihia we stopped at a place called “Mangonui Fish Shop”. And I ate, for the first time (that I can remember), fish and chips! Well, for me without chips, so only fish. But it was the best fish that I had eaten in ages! And I am definitely planning to go back and eat more fish. That same evening I participated in my first pub quiz ever! And found out that I am (well the whole team of course) really bad at it.


The day after Cape Reinga I booked a half-day Bay of Islands cruise. The boat searches for dolphins and other marine-life around the Bay. The weather was beautiful and I got sunburned really, really bad (I was basically a walking Lobster). But instead of finding dolphins, we only found a penguin. That was also cool though! I sat on the top of the boat and had (again) an amazing view of the bay of islands. The ‘Hole in a Rock’ tour, as the name describes it, did take us to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island.

The water was calm and so we could go through the hole. That’s not always possible, because of the waves and bad weather. On our way back, we stopped at a tiny island where we could climb a hill and have a look around. The rest of the day I spend at the beach, just doing completely nothing! (And becoming more of a Lobster)

The rest of the week was pretty relaxing and chill. I rented a kayak, tried to walk to a waterfall but got lost, chilled at the beach and made a plan for the next week with some people. Pretty excited for what I am going to see next week, and of course, I will capture it all on camera! Stay tuned!