Today was all about getting ready. We got up at 7 - Jess slept well, and I ‘slept’ - and wandered down to Kohi beach for breakfast (my first proper coffee since we left home!) - and my water baby wife had a dip in the Hauraki Gulf...
We spent the rest of the morning shopping, purchasing food and supplies for the trip, and then repacking and loading our stuff into the van. Jess was very excited by the Ikea-like supermarket we went to: PAK’n’SAVE. The stuff is piled high and cheap!
What has already impressed us was how much better New Zealand is at eco-friendly stuff than we are in the UK. Many of their products were packaged in sugar-based plastic, or cardboard derivatives. Their supermarkets seem to be free of plastic bags - you load your shopping into your own bags, or back into your trolley - and even the bags you put fruit and veg into are biodegradable.
We also passed a postman in a red electric golf buggy, we’ve seen countless Toyota Priuses, and electric scooters available for hire. Many people told us NZ is like the UK, only 30 years behind - but at least in this regard, they are very much ahead of us.
This was typified by something we witnessed during our evening meal. A seagull was attacking the bin on the sea front over the road from where we were sitting; it was shredding what looked like fish and chip wrapping paper, pulling it out of the bin and strewing it across the path. I wondered aloud if we should go and pick it up, when a Kiwi approached the bin on a jog, stopped, chased the seagull away, and proceeded to pick up all the rubbish from the path, and put it back in the bin. According to our guidebook, that’s what they do here!
Speaking of dinner... we had our first New Zealand lamb this evening at a restaurant called Annabelle’s... and it was delicious.
Tomorrow we head East to the Coromandel peninsula.