This past weekend we went to the Tutukaka Coast and Whangerei Falls. It was an easy 2 hour drive from Auckland. We did a really cool walk from Matapouri Bay to a dreamy place called Whale Bay. There was a fantastic beach there where we soaked up the sun. There is no road access so only the true beach warriors survive. In this situation, what made me a warrior was carrying a back pack with a peanut butter sandwhich in it.
We stayed at a lovely B&B called the Lupton Lodge outside of Whangerei. The next morning over breakfast we met another couple on holiday and were exchanging stories. They were native New Zealanders and the woman, who was probably in her 60's, was delighted to find out we were from Atlanta since she had been there before. Well actually, she had just been to the airport but she described her experience to us in great detail. She couldn't believe how busy it was and said it felt like it was out of a sci-fi movie with all the trams and the numbers counting down until another one left. She greatly enjoyed it but the highlight was "when I saw my first beautiful black man and had to get my shoes shined immediately." I can't make this stuff up people. That seemed like a good time to be on our way so it was off to Whangerei Falls. We came, we saw, we waterfalled. A nice surprise was the Kauri Walkway which went through a neat forest and had a dope canopy walk.