Sometimes I forget that seeing a waterfall for the 563rd time isn't as exciting to them. Sometimes they just need some good old fashioned fun. We found exactly that at Action World in Piha. It's places like these that make me grateful there are no lawsuits here, because there is no way a place like this could survive in sue crazy America. It has all the thrills, excitment and danger that childhoods should be made of. From high flying trapeze, tight rope walks and slides that launch you into the air, it was a day the kids will be talking about for a long time to come!
We drove around the Bay of Islands
And stopped at (another) waterfall. Ryder and Maddox had fallen asleep and Kylie and Jayden volunteered to stay behind with them. I didn't push it because that meant Jason and I had a nice little mid-afternoon date at Rainbow Falls. It was only a short 5 minute walk, but the waterfall was spectacular (even if at this point they are all beginning to look the same) and we enjoyed admiring it in peace and quiet.
My view from the front. We were so diligent in making them buckle those first few days, but it was so much easier when they could just sit on the bed and play, sleep or watch movies. I loved looking back to hear them laughing and catching glimpses like this. It reminds me of growing up when my dad would take the seats out of our van and line the floor with mattresses while we drove cross country on our family vacations. Such great memories.
We ate our stir fry dinner at a beach side park on the Karikari Peninsula then found this beautiful lake where we called it a night.
The next day we drove to the very tippy top of the North Island, Cape Reinga. You know I've got a thing for lighthouses and this picturesque backdrop made this my second favorite light house in New Zealand (because Nugget Point just can't be beat). There was just a heavy calm and peacefulness in the air and 360 degrees of spectacular views. And the weather was nothing short of amazing.
Where the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide. It's kind of cool to see the constant rolling waves of different colored water.
This Pohutukawa tree is over 800 hundreds years old and the Maori believe it is where the spirits of the deceased jump off into the ocean to return to their home land.
I've been so excited for our next stop. Sand boarding down the gigantic Te Paka Sand Dunes. When you think of New Zealand, you don't really think of sand dunes, so it's just bizarre to see miles and miles of rolling dunes sticking up in the middle of forests and trees.
This gives you a perspective of just how massive this hill is. It is an incredible rush to go flying down, but is an absolute killer to hike back up as your feet sink down with every step.
Such a fun way to spend a day, even if we did get caught in a rain shower, and even if every inch of our bodies was covered in sand, and even if Kylie walked back to the car in her underwear because she couldn't stand the feeling of the sand rubbing on her skin (good thing it's so remote :). Nothing a hot shower and falling asleep to Diary of a Wimpy Kid couldn't remedy.