I've been feeling very nostalgic about leaving New Zealand. We've been here for five months total, from November to May with a four week hiatus. We've traveled twice from Whangarei, once to the US, once to the South Island, and returned feeling like we were coming home. We have a favorite bakery, frequented the good chocolate shop, and everyone in the chandlery knows our name.
Traveling through islands, Helios was our home base and we were passing through a sequence of destinations, but in the Northland, we've stayed. Will we never see another tui or fantail again? Tomorrow we depart for Fiji. I can feel the wind gathering in my sails, but my anchor still feels rooted in the ground.
New Zealand is also the first place I've gotten to play the tour guide. I took my dad on a few hikes through Whangarei and the Bay of Islands. It was cathartic to retrace old footsteps, and my dad's New Zealand bird list has grown quite lengthy!
A few photos from Whangarei Falls: