Kayaking in the bays of New Zealand- waterfalls, geothermal pools and gloworms!

We had some great views and a lot of exercise the past 2 days as we kayaked in 2 different bay areas. The first trip was with a large group from our ship, at Waitangi river, an estuary in the bay of islands at the far north island. This was shallow saltwater in a calm protected area. We went down the river and through a forest of mangroves, which grow in brackish water by sucking up the water through leaves and roots, mainly living off the fresh water they take out. Then we saw a beautiful horseshoe shaped waterfall, similar in shape to Niagara Falls, but on a much smaller scale. There was a nice rest stop for coffee and biscuits, then a paddle back to the starting point.

The following day we booked a private kayak tour with Waimarino Adventures. You can check them out at www.waimarino.com. They specialize in tours on Lake Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty area further down the northern island. This was a much longer tour but our kayak was a bit lighter so it wasn't too tiring. We were able to see black swans, as well as several other types of birds that fish. We took a trip inside of a very slender cave that had glow-worms. They remind me of lightning bugs that don't move- very small and they glow all the time. Almost impossible to photograph, you might check the website for a photo of the cave. From there we kayaked across the wide lake under sunny beautiful skies, to a collection of thermal pools. You could smell the sulphur smell as soon as we got close. There were pools of varying temps you could try, after having first gone down a slide into the tepid lake water to get cool enough to truly appreciate them. It was a gorgeous location, rich in plant life with a nice picnic spot. Our guide, also the owner of the company, brought sandwiches and sweets for us. After we'd had a little break, we paddled back to the starting point. Abdul was in the back of the double kayak, so he was in charge of the foot pedals that steer. I only had to paddle. He said I kept soaking him with the paddle so I guess I need to work on my form. It was a great way to enjoy the "kiwi summer". We'd both love to do more kayaking!


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