Remember when you were a kid and it was hilarious to confidently mouth the words "island view" to someone only to have him or her think you were saying "I love you"? Ah, so clever. Well, the Bay of Islands definitely has an island view. About 150 of them.
The Bay of Islands is a gorgeous part of the Northland region. It's the kind of place you hope to get stuck if you miss your flight or run out of gas. The area is characterized by about 150 inviting, rocky yet lush, some-inhabited-most-not islands jutting up throughout the turquoise waters. Huge tree ferns line hikes through sub-tropical forests nestled into grassy hillsides. Cicadas' buzzing provides pleasant white noise. The clouds move in each afternoon to provide much needed shade from the warm sun and slight humidity. Dolphins are practically dancing on their tails. And while you probably wouldn't think of sheep to complete this picture, they're here too. Hawaii? Meet Switzerland.
I took today to spend some quality island time on Urupukapuka, a basically deserted island but with a bar and cafe. The boat transfer was literally in the middle of the channel (jumping from a bigger boat to a small skiff) and, aside from the handful of locals that run the bar and cafe, Carol, Martin (a senior English couple) and I were the only ones devoted to spending the entire day on the island. Kayaking through lazy coves and bumping into sheep along scenic walks were punctuated only by a delicious fish n' chips lunch that only a fisherman's paradise could provide.
There's just one thing to say as I leave this sublime haven: Island view Bay of Islands!
Sheep grazing above Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island
Bumping into some friends along the way
Climbing Otehei Bay trail
Beautiful Urupukapuka Island...almost to myself