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                                 CHRIS COMES TO NEW ZEALAND - WHANGAREI                                                             

December  26    

Chris flew into Auckland after a very long flight with stopovers in Hawaii and Fiji. He left Canada on December 24 and arrived in New Zealand December 26 which meant that Christmas day was lost to the time zone. We decided to celebrate a second Christmas (Canada Christmas) with Endless (Mike, Eric and Donna's parents had arrived already).

It was so exciting to see Chris again and we really looked forward to his 3 week visit. It was a celebration of not only Christmas but also his birthday and graduation. After a quick tour of Auckland, Chris took in the scenery on the drive from the airport to Whangerei. Luckily, the rain had stopped and the sun came out to welcome Chris to New Zealand!

Christmas Dinner

Chris, Eric, Mike, and Jordan were waiting for Chris' arrival and helped prepare Christmas Dinner at the BBQ area at the marina.

We had turkey and lamb for Christmas Dinner.

There was quite a gang to welcome Chris to Whangarei: Marv, Donna, Mike, Eric, Jordan, Cliff and Eva (Donna's parents) and us.

AROUND WHANGAREI......

December 27
Hike to Lookout at Mt Parahaki
The weather finally broke and it was a glorious day for a hike to the Lookout. It was a long climb up to the top of the old eroded volcanic cone 241 meters above sea level, but the view at the top was worth it. We tramped through the lush forest and stopped for our lunch beside a stream.

Chris, Gord, Ginny, Marv, Eric, Jordan and Mike on our hike through Parahaki Scenic Reserve

December 27
GORD'S BIRTHDAY

  ....................and then  December 30 CHRIS' BIRTHDAY

 

Gord has a 29th B-day, again!

 

Chocolate cake for Chris

yumm..Rack of Lamb

A toast to Chris

Waiting for cake

Click here for PHOTO ALBUM OF CHRIS VISIT - WHANGAREI part 1

Hike to Whangarei Falls
A beautiful sunny day to see Whangarei Falls, which involves a tramp through both the AH Reed Memorial Kauri Park and then on to the Whangarei Falls Scenic Reserve.
The bush walk is a magnificent remnant if the original Kauri forests, which were once extensive throughout New Zealand. The canopy walkway gives a bird's eye view of the forest. The track continues on through grasslands, along a creek and over fences.

The picturesque waterfall is 26.3m high and falls over basalt cliffs. It is apparently the home of numerous eels. We climbed to the top of the falls for a great view of the valley below.
Abbey Caves
Abbey Caves is an undeveloped network of limestone caves full of glow worms and formations about 4 km from Whangarei. It was dark and spooky as we entered the mouth and slid down the rock into the bowel of the cave. We immediately discovered it would be more prudent to take our shoes off as we had to wade through the stream that ran the length of the caves. The water was cold and were were kind of freaked about stepping on an eel. The formations in the cave were awesome and apparently there are a number of caverns that lead like spider webs from the main passage. There was a family with kids in the cave when we were there and we had no knowledge of their presence until they exited sometime after we did!

Chris, Ali, Gord & I explore the wonders of Abbey Caves


Our trek back to the car led us through fascinating limestone formations in the dense rainforest. There were some really unusual trees, one that you could have built a house under and another that bore giant flowers.
PHOTO ALBUM OF CHRIS VISIT - WHANGAREI part 2

next.....

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