Paihia was the last stop on what was to become known as our epic Northland adventure.
We’d started off on the West Coast horse riding and staying at an off the grid Hippy Hut and had slowly made our way up to the top of the island before coming down the east side of Northland to Paihia. This leg was definitely all about luxury and no one does luxury better than Paihia.
After stopping for our youngest thrill seeking adventure at Action World we were all ready to kick back ad start some serious relaxing but first we wanted to head to the Paihia markets to check out James Aunt Nicky’s stall. She is a brilliant potter who you can check out here and the kids each bought a necklace from her.
First step of relaxing was a late lunch with a cold cider and beer at Sauce – a great little spot right on the water that serves great pizza.
After that it was on to our night in complete luxury at Paihia Beach Resort and Spa. Part of the deal with this trip is that we let each of the kids choose one activity and a place to stay (all within a budget). For Bella, our eldest, the accommodation and activity were all tied up in one. She wanted a super fancy place to stay with an amazing pool. She certainly got that.
We loved the hotel so much that not even the park right across the road on the beach front could persuade the kids to leave and we opted for having dinner at Proviner – the restaurant at the (okay, I’m going to use the fancy word), resort which was utterly delicious and reminded me a bit of the Fancy Nancy stories as we all traipsed in there..
The next morning I woke up bright and early to head down to the beach and capture a sunrise. The sun rises right behind the hills to the right of Paihia and put on an amazing one hour show. You can see this and the tips on how to photograph your own sunset over on our Facebook page but in the mean time here is the end result.
After that it was still only 7.30am so with the kids and James still fast asleep over the road I decided to take the short walk up to Waiting and have a quick look around.
The thing I love the most about Waitangi is that for a place with so much national significance it looks just so down to earth. The road signs are just a little bit wonky, the bridge still one lane and the fence on the nearby school riotously colourful.
After two hours of wandering the beaches (bliss let me tell you after 7 days in close quarters with all 5 of us) it was back to the hotel for a quick dip before heading over to Russell for the morning.