Our first weekend trip was planned and underway. Emily, Annabel and I hit the road with our newly named car, Aunt Maggie. It only took us a little over an hour to reach our first destination by Friday evening, Nugget Point.
We arrived to Nugget Point as the sun was low in the sky, casting gold across the scenery. Luckily we had the lighthouse viewpoint all to ourselves.
We all stood quietly taking in the views for quite some time. It was strange to be standing there looking down upon the rocks scattered through the waves as I had seen them so many times before. But when I had seen them before it was in photos, hoping for a day I would get to see them in person.
As we began to lose sunlight we decided to head on to our campsite. It was another twenty minutes down the highway, and then we turned down a gravel road. The road winded through both farm fields and cliffs, but it became pitch black the further we went, until we reached Purakaunui Bay. The stars were shining bright enough for us to be able to tell we would be in a treat once the sun came up. We set up our bed for the night, otherwise known as the backseat of our car. We had brought blankets and packed dinner for the evening so we were able to sit wrapped in our blankets, while watching The Lord of the Rings on a tablet. Annabel was able to fall asleep quickly but it was clear that both Emily and I were restless. The both of us slipped out of the car and went to sit on the hood of our car. By now the full moon was up and shining bright enough to hide the stars. We sat there as long as we could face the strong winds, watching the waves break through reflections of the moon. Eventually we became tired enough to fall asleep in our tiny little bed, still with the sound of the waves in the background.
In the morning I woke up to Emily shouting in excitement, the sunrise had began and it was filling the sky with a brilliant red. We jumped out of the car with our cameras around our necks and headed to the beach. We decided to head out shortly after, but as we started our car a man who was camping at the bay as well tapped on our window. He told us that he had been camped out there for several days waiting to spot sea lions on the beach, and they were finally out and we were about to miss them. We got back out to see them for a bit but then continued on our way.
Purakaunui Falls was our first stop of the morning. The weather report had been saying to expect rain showers all day, but we were lucky enough to have a clear blue sky for the time being.
Our day was filled with the quintessential New Zealand sights: sheep, small coffee shops, storm clouds, soaring hills, sharp cliffs, and sandy beaches.