Piha, known for its international surfing contest and its funky hippy-like atmosphere, is a small town filled with personality. Although the black sand beach and the green blue water are captivating we had come to Piha for one reason-to surf. Sadly, it was a stormy day and the surf was a windy mess. Foiled again on the surfing for Mike! Jake had gone out on an early morning run from the hostel and took us out to show us his find-Kitekite falls. Lovely hike.
We later climbed the Lion Rock that stands sentinel over Piha and then left this beautiful beach and set off to grab some lunch and catch a ferry to Waiheke Island.
Waiheke Island had been rated as the number one thing to do in New Zealand according to our Lonely Plant book. Apparently lots of other people agreed because we had a hard time finding a place to stay!! We ended up in a house on a crazy steep hill with a beautiful view of Palm Beach. It was a little crazy trying to get our luggage in and out of the house with the 50 plus stairs from the road to the house. Luke actually managed to put a dent in the car with his head when he got running down the hill a little too fast. Yikes!
Every other year in the month of February, Waiheke Island puts on an art walk where visitors walk along a breathtaking ocean path and admire 30+ sculptures by local (Kiwi) artists that are displayed along the walk. We decided to join the walk and in my opinion it was the highlight of our visit to the island. The kids might tell you it was the Thai food we ate as a late dinner. Our evening stroll to Oneroa Beach was a highlight as well. The prices on the island were not-ouch! All in all we enjoyed our ferry ride over (especially our picnic on the top deck) and our amazing tramp along the beach, but I would not rate the island as the #1 thing to do or place to see on the island. Again we had crossed the island from coast to coast and beyond for the day. Hip hip hoorays go out to mike for driving through some crazy roads on the other side of the street. Nice job!
Some of our favorite sculptures along the Art Walk-
They had a bin of toys at the Thai restaurant-heaven sent for a tired little girl.