Arriving in New Zealand

The entry procedure to New Zealand is very strict and very organized. NZ makes sure you have all the information for check-in that you need in advance (e.g. by having people in Tonga who come to you and give you information material) and require you to notify them once you leave your last port, 2 days before arrival and upon arrival. There are very strict rules on what you can bring into the country and what not (e.g. no fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds….). The boat has to be clean, nothing growing on the hull and no bugs etc. inside. If they find anything, you end up in quarantine and pay a lot of money. As advised by our friends I had all the goods in doubt out so that the guy from Q was able to decide what we were allowed to keep and what the threw into his plastic bag. Once he left a young lady from customs came and did the immigration as well. The whole procedure lasted about 10 min. This is the most efficient check-in we had ever experienced.
We’re in the marina in Opua and the last days we had the chance to experience the friendliness of the Kiwi-people. Everybody here is just lovely and very helpful- just like the “boatie” friends that we have. It is not an outside friendliness, it’s from the heart. The land we saw in the past days is green with many flowers. My heart is dancing with all the wonderful flower smells of this late spring. It reminds me of home, yet it’s different being at the coast. By means of a rental car and partly a bus tour we have travelled most part of northern NZ. We have seen the northernmost point, where the Tasmanian Sea meets the Pacific ocean; the oldest and biggest trees of New Zealand (Kauris, about 2000 years old), seen yellow and white beaches, drove on the 90 mile beach (which is actually 90km long) with the bus, slided down a sand dune, ate NZs supposedly best Fish&Chips (busloads of people go there) and shopped souvenirs. We saw many sheep and incredible amounts of cows. For the first time in my life, I have seen white cows (or bulls?). Here are some pictures of the beautiful Bay of Islands and Northern New Zealand. Enjoy. FOllow the link for all pix: http://sailing.smichah.de/#!album-83 

FInd Alita in this picture. Tip: in front of the Ferry
 Bay of Islands at Opua.

 Old cars came through Paihia

 New Zealand's biggest tree.

 An incredible amount of cows...
 Pine trees are high and used like a hedge
 Busride on the 90 mile beach

 Look close: it showsdistance to London via ocean and London right through the earth...

Unfortunately I do not know the name of this flower, but it sure is gorgeous. No photoshop!!
 New Zealand's second largest (Kauri) tree

 On the "90 mile beach" (which is actually only 90km long)
 At Cape Reinga
 THe northernmost point of New Zealand. Tasmanian Sea and Pacific Ocean meet here.
 Caoe Reinga lighthouse

 Look at the sign ("PLease register here before cmaping") and where it leads to. I wonder what the bird is going to register...
 Rarawe beach

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