Today we checked out of our garden sleep out and headed to our next location, The Bay of Islands. On our way out, we stopped at Atomic Coffee for breakfast. I didn’t realize it until later, but starting the day with thick slabs of sourdough toast, fresh NZ butter (I’m a butter-substitute girl at home) and the tastiest mocha I think I’ve ever had started off a day of simplicity.
Our drive north took us to the West coast first where we stopped at Karekare, a black sand beach. The surf was intense but the beach is nestled in hills, making it a little less windy than I would’ve expected. I picked up a few shells and we hiked back to the car (photo on the right is the view from the parking lot). If we’d had more time, we could’ve done the 4-hour hike. Putting that on the list for next time.
On our way to the East coast, we stopped in a little seaside town called Mangawhai and had lunch at Bennett Cafe. The cafe looked like something out of a magazine (I desperately tried in vain to capture it in a photo) and the food was delectable. I had a roasted vegetable sandwich on focaccia with goat cheese and cinnamon apples. After lunch we headed next door to Bennett’s Chocolatiere for a little dessert.
On the East coast we found this white sand surf beach at Mangawhai Heads. I wished I’d had a board with me, amazing surf breaks to catch!
We arrived at the Hammock at Driftwood at 4:30pm. The top right photo is the view from the deck in the background of the photo on the right. Since it’s fairly secluded, we took a trip to the grocery store and bought things to make dinner, breakfast and lunch. I think we’ll just have a lazy day tomorrow and stick with simplicity.

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