The day promised temperatures in the high twenties but as we left the motel to go to Paihia the countryside was draped in a blanket of mist that didn’t make driving easy. We were booked on a morning boat trip to see the dolphins and the hole in the rock, part of the volcanic Islands that give the bay its name.
Sadly, the dolphins must have known I was coming and hid from sight but the ride through the hole was well worth the trip. The sea was incredibly clear and blue against the dark weather-eroded rock as the boat moved through the tunnel-like hole. The wind picked up a bit on the way back to Paihia and I did feel somewhat cold despite wearing a fleece but once we reached the more sheltered part of the bay, where we stopped for lunch, it was lovely and warm once more.
In the afternoon we walked from Rewa’s village to Rainbow Falls; an hour’s hike each way but very enjoyable. The cicadas were in full voice giving a constant background percussion to our walk. British forests are much more tranquil. We also heard Tuis but they were so high in the trees that I couldn’t really see them. I did however manage to photograph a dovetail who teased me by flitting from tree to tree just as I had a good shot lined up. There were also a couple of Pukekos on the other side of a small waterway that I managed to capture on camera.. The path mostly followed the river, which alternated from fast flowing to languid but always very clear. I couldn’t see any fish but I’m sire there must have been some.
Watching the water cascade from a rocky heights of Rainbow Falls into the pool below was mesmerising. An incredible volume of water tumbled over the edge forcing a vast amount of fine spray back up the rocks again. From where we sat, it looked like steam rising. The roaring of the water was incredible loud. We watched a couple of boys clamber into a crevice behind the waterfall. It looked tempting but seeing their return via a dive into the pool of water, I decided not to brave the experience.
We finished the day with a trip to the Makana chocolate factory, for free samples of truffles and macadamia crunch. However, I didn’t dare look at the prices because the chocolates were all hand made on the premises.