Looks like wifi access is going to be even harder here in New Zealand- not even the McDonalds or Starbucks have it!
Had a rough time sleeping last night after arriving in Auckland as it is 2 hours ahead of Australia’s east coast. So far I have decided kiwis are Very COURTEOUS, with an emphasis on CURT. This is seemingly friendly, but not overly so, even though they don’t seem to mind when you delve further into questions as their first answer is never too elaborate (and some of them are so soft spoken its just darn-right hard to know what they said exactly.)
Called to get my rental car early and was told they’d send someone ‘now’, but we do have island time I guess and that meant more than an hour wait.
Once I got my ride, I headed north towards the Bay of Islands, thinking I might also complete the drive all the way to the Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand.
Turns out that the Cape is more than 3 1/2 hours from Paihia. And after 4 hours of scenic drive to Paihia, I decided that was enough for the day. Here are some photo highlights of the drive:

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