Friday’s FAB Finds has been interrupted to bring you this special announcement: more NZ pics! We hope you won’t mind. 🙂

While the rest of NZ was up at 9am on a Monday morning to watch the NFC & AFC Championship games live (yeah, right!), we took off with Angela for the two and half hour drive to the beautiful Coromadel Pennisula for a fun-filled half day of sea kayaking out to Cathedral Cove and back. (We were slightly bummed to miss the exciting Saints -Vikings game, but we took solace in the fact that we were in NEW ZEALAND and it was SUMMER! 😉

There are two ways to get to the cove – hiking in or by sea – and we chose water for this adventure. It was supremely cool – one of the coolest adventures Anne had ever done up until that point (more wicked cool things were destined for our wallets later in the trip), save for white water rafting. Gliding across the relatively smooth water, soaking up the day’s sun, seeing armies of jellyfish swim just below the surface of the bay, watching Gannets dive bomb into the water and just being utterly amazed by the sereneness of it all made it an incredible experience. One we would highly recommend. The company says it’s like back-packing on water and Anne would argue that it’s even better. Our only wish is that we could have kept our camera dry and more accessible so we could have taken some shots while we were actually kayaking. Perhaps we’ll ask Santa for a water-proof camera next year!

Click on individual photos to see them larger.

Most photographed rock in NZ, so says Mike, our kayak guide.

A big jump rock by the cove lured Anne and Angela to swim out to it and after getting knocked in the head (Anne) and scratched up (both Angela and Anne) when a big wave pushed them back into said craggy rock, woman-upped and jumped off! Even though a nine year old on the rock told Angela she was going to attract sharks with her bloody leg! Thankfully we (and the nine year old) made it back to shore safely. 😉

Anne and Angela about to hit the water. (Thanks, honey for staying behind to capture it!)

After kayaking, we decided to take the long, but even more scenic way home. It added about an additional 2-3 hours to the drive, because of course we had to stop alot, but it was totally worth it. We hadn’t even been in NZ that long at this point and we were already running out of adjectives to describe all the beauty surrounding us.

Sheep and cows out-number people. They were everywhere! (Click on the pic to see the cows a bit better.)

Three Pied Shags drying their wings. They leave them outstretched for several minutes so they can fly again after diving for dinner.

A sign that had seen better days probably saying stay of the rocks. Ooops.

But if we had, we wouldn’t have gotten shots like this. Oh, the lengths we’ll go to. Okay, Bill will go to. 😉

Ew. Just. Ew.

Fern curls were everywhere and came in all different sizes. It should be their national plant if it isn’t already. Loved them!

Webster was long asleep by the time we made it home that night and we weren’t far behind him! When Anne closed her eyes that night she said she still felt like she was out on the waves, being gently rocked to sleep. Another perfect ending to a great day.

View from a little overlook we hiked up just as the sun was setting. The water was literally violet. We’d never seen anything like it.

Happy Valentine’s, everyone. Lots more pictures to come next week so stay tuned!