Harry taking it all in at Ngarunui Beach
Parenting,  Travel with Baby

Surf and…Mountains (supposedly)

Family of three in front of Bridal veil falls

Baby bathing in sink
Harry got to take baths in all sorts of interesting settings on this trip.

Raglan was a favourite of mine since we had so much fun on the beach. I also love the temperature! It’s been 20-25 Celsius and breezy. This is way more my jam than the northland, where it was 30+ most days. I love that we can go about our day in shorts without sweating, and at night I can get cosy in pants and warm socks.

This whole Air BNB thing has been working out so well for us, and I wish I’d documented more of our accommodation. Our Raglan rental is no disappointment. We are staying on a hillside in what is essentially three sheds that have been installed along a deck (Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom). We had a bit of a shock to realize just how steep the slope off the deck was, and only “benches” to deter curious little babies from toppling off the edge. Harry didn’t seem too curious near the edge, as he was having much more fun in the “kitchen shed” playing with utensils. The adults much appreciated the view of the sheep paddock off the back while sitting out on the deck at night, and off to the left the town of Raglan itself on the estuary. We took a walk on our first day out to Bridal Veil Falls and descended down the stairs to the bottom to check the views.

Chariots race along the hard sand of the beach while Harry plays. He models his hat I fashioned from a t-shirt as his actual hat was left in the car.

I see more of this activity in our future!

Raglan day 2 saw Matt catching a surf lesson, and after going to the beach rather than first the classroom, we eventually found ourself in the right place: Raglan Surf School. A strange feeling of déjà-vu intensified for me as we approached the surf-school-cum-hostel located about 15 minutes out of town. As we pulled up to the main office, I made a realization that it was more than deja-vu…I had, in fact not only been here before, but I had actually stayed there before. As we walked up to the classroom more and more details of my brief stay came back to me, the trails, the buildings, and at night…the glow worms! (We missed those as we were there during daytime hours, but the MEMORIES!)

Matt very much enjoyed his first surfing experience, and Harry was having so much fun, I was even able to rent a board and go out by myself when he finished.

After this came our final destination and the final planned activities we had on our New Zealand “To-do” list. We stopped off in Waitomo, where we were led through a cave to an underground river, and in the darkness boarded boats and floated along while observing hundreds of glow-worms that lined the surfaces of the cave.

Looking up towards the Wilkies pools in the rain

These mossy tree’s are called the “Goblin forest”
Matt posing in front of the volcano “Mount Taranacki”…can you see it?! Us neither

We approached our visit to Egmont national park with some trepidation due to the rain, and committed to a walk up to the “Wilkins pools”. In true Matt and Jill style, we decided to go a bit further to the lookout, and onward and such. Ultimately we wound up enjoying three hours of trekking through the “goblin forest” (and Harry enjoyed taking a three hour nap), down the “enchanted track, across a 1-man suspension bridge and back up to the trailhead. Unfortunately we did not see Mount Taranaki due to the fog…but you can see Matt posing in front of it above!

Following our wet hike we returned to our Air BnB rental, which was another winner. We enjoyed the big claw foot tub, and a fire in the big old stove. I had the laugh of my life every time we encountered the “kunekune” pigs that resided outside, they love scratches and scraps. We were instructed by our host to toss our scraps direct out the kitchen window, after which we would all crowd into the window-opening to watch the chickens and pigs race over to see who could be first to retrieve their “treat”.

The first time we showed up, I couldn’t get the gate open fast enough, and after being rushed by three very enthusiastic Kunekunes, I spent significant time trying a combination of scaring, shoo’ing, and luring them away so that we could let Matt drive through. In the end it took a carrot from our recent grocery stop to get the whole crew over to the edge of the yard and out of the way.

Second to last full day of the trip, and a small milestone for Harry! We hit the beach too early in the tide to access the three sisters rocks (around the corner under just-a-bit too much water), but we enjoyed a wade in the black sand and appreciated some limestone formations. This was the longest drive of the trip… 4.5 hours northward to get ourselves closer to the airport. Two more sleeps until we fly home!

Link to previous New Zealand entries:





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