Friday we drove back to the cave site and took a nature walk around the outside this time. Then drove to the city of Hamilton, stopping by the LDS temple grounds along the way and then wandering through the city museum, an art gallery, pedestrian area and the river walk. It was the perfect rest stop on our drive back to Auckland.
Jenny has family living in Christchurch who have family that live just outside of Auckland and they graciously opened their home to us. So owe drove through the city and over the bridge to the charming area known as Narrow Neck. No one was home when we first got there so we parked the car and walked five minutes down the road to the beach where we dipped our toes in the water and gazed at the Auckland skyline across the way. That evening we were fed blue lipped mussels, a New Zealand specialty (which unfortunately neither of us loved), along with a few other NZ favorites like jaffas and pineapple lumps (both delicious!) among other truly delicious dishes and visited with our hosts Anne and Neville and their boys Campbell and Oliver, some of the nicest people around.