New Zealand Farewell Tour, Pt. 4: Cable Bay, Kerikeri, and Rainbow Falls

Well friends, this is it. The farewell to…my farewell tour? This is getting a little meta.

As you may recall from last time (and if you don’t, may I recommend a quick refresher?), I reached my destination of Cape Reinga. After a brief trip to Tapotupotu to clear my head from all the tourists, I began my trip back to Auckland.

Before heading back, though, I had one more night to spend in the Northlands. That night was to be spent at Cable Bay, a small part of Doubtless Bay, a large inlet not too far from Mangonui. I was to stay at a charming inn called Driftwood Lodge.

The lodge is very much on the bay! This is the view from the front door of my room. I love my family very much, but if the couple who run the lodge had offered to adopt me and let me live there, I would have had a hard time saying no!

Cable Bay shares in the stunning beauty that seems to be par for the course in the Northlands. I personally believe this area can give the Bay of Islands a run for their money! Not that this statement is casting any shade on the Bay of Islands; that’s just how beautiful this area is!

As you can see from the chop in the water, it was a bit windy. But for a late Spring day, it was absolutely fantastic!

As you can see, the lodge itself is quite secluded. The beach is public and anyone can walk around on it, but at least in November it seems that only a few did. Just as well; I was enjoying having it mostly to myself!

You may be thinking this shot was taken at high focal length with the big lens. Nope! This is the 35mm. I was able to get this close using my own two feet :)

I decided to take a bit of a meander down the beach, and I do not at all regret this usage of the last hour or so of sunlight.

Near the end of the beach there’s a sort of play area and some benches. I enjoyed sitting on these benches just contemplating the ocean.

Cable Bay is calming and restful, full of the effortless beauty that New Zealand has seemingly boundless supplies of.

Mangonui

The sun was taking ages to set, so I got in my car and drove the ~7 minutes over to Mangonui, the nearest town.

Most things were closed up, but I spent some time walking around and just enjoying the small town feel. Mangonui is really just a couple of roads, so there’s not much “town” there. It is quite a charming place though!

As the sun finally went down I managed to snap one more shot, this from the dock area in Mangonui.

The Return

Of the rest of the trip, there’s not much more to say. After spending a delightful night in the Driftwood Lodge, I packed my stuff and set off back to Auckland. In less than a month, I would be getting on a plane and flying back to the US.

A portion of my heart will always, always reside in New Zealand. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be back one day.

I use the word “home” liberally. Home is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the house my family have lived for 25 years. Home is in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I moved 12 years ago and where, as I write this, I currently reside. But home is also in Auckland, New Zealand, where I have dear friends, a church, and so many memories. Ultimately, as I have said before, my home is in heaven. My entire life is a journey along the narrow road leading home, and it should be no surprise as I move from home to home along that road.

Thank you for sharing in this journey with me. It’s been a year and a half now since I moved back, and only now am I really able to write about leaving. I write with sadness but no regret. And I also write hoping that I find the time and energy amidst life’s vicissitudes to occasionally post photos from my continuing adventures!

Thus, I will not say goodbye, but rather: ’til next time!