After leaving Mt. Cook, we booked it north back to Whangarei. It was hard: there is so much to see in New Zealand and heartbreaking to have to pass a lot of it by. But then again, after four weeks on the road, we were feeling a little bit of camping fatigue, and we missed Helios, so to Whangarei we went.
We still took a week to get there, stopping in Wellington to visit Weta, the small museum associated with Peter Jackson's film studio.
And stopped at the botanical gardens, where Dominic marveled at the begonias:
And I adored the orchids:
We camped at the beach and saw dolphin in the morning; we toured caves and found constellations in the glow worms. On March 26, we made the final leg of our journey, loading our bags into the dinghy, and ferrying them back to Helios, whom we had left moored in the safety of the Whangarei Town Basin five weeks before. I feel like I have so much more about New Zealand to share, but after so many adventures, it was time to get serious about our boat projects and get ready for another season in the islands.