Day 5, Jan 2, 2009. Goat Island and Whangerai
Tauranga through Auckland and then up the East Coast of the Twin Coast route of Northland to the tough town of Whangerai. 425km. Kiwis were still on Christmas holidays at this point so the traffic was thick effecting my motorcycling scale (high T values)
Tauranga to Auckland, State highway 2; C5,R8,T8,V5 and rain.
Quick stop in WarkWorth as per Alaskan Trip guarantee.
Check out the corner of the Warkworth sign which is posted amongst 1000 of signs in Watson Lake, YK.
Auckland to Goat Island. C6,R7,T8,V6. Bit tight on the roads near Goat Island. Was able to take a snorkel thanks to the Girls at the Gear Hire place who gave me a place to park, rinse off my gear and good information that saved me time on the roads ahead. The snorkeling was OK, but to be fair I didn't have enough time to swim over to the island where I am sure schools of fish can be found (must have been as there were a lot of people there).
Wellsford to Mangawhai; C8,R6,T4,V7. Lots of curves, sweeps, hairpins. Road was a bit choppy in spots and my traffic rating was high due to slow downs in lots of little towns on the route. Good views with Seaside and long distance meadows.
Made Whangarei and stayed at Bunkdown. Very good even though the town is dodge. Good BBQ, courtyard and bike parking. The owners, Peter and Noelle are very friendly. They even try to avoid alarms in the morning in the dorms by giving you a personal wake up (never had that at a backpacker before).
I met aggression at the bar the next night and many stories of beatings and even killings and saw police tape at a house on the way to the super market. Whangarei's reputation as a dodgy spot is in tact.