The Maori name for GBI is Aotea (White Cloud). It is home to vast beautiful beaches, diverse vegetation and wildlife, and a fisherman's paradise as well. It is also (we were told) the only place to find the indigenous Brown Teal. We arrived at Port Fitzroy in the early afternoon and were stunned at the panorama. It is so pretty that we just could not take a decent photograph to do it justice, nor could we begin to describe the magnificence that we felt just looking up and around from our boat. This anchorage is said to be the safest and most protected in all of NZ. The guidebooks should also say the loveliest, but then again so are many others.
We rented a car the next day to explore the island. We hiked up to the top to a place called Windy Canyon, which boasts brilliant panoramic vistas – all true! Then we hiked into the middle of the lower bush area to the natural hot springs. We explored the island from end to end, and walked and oohed and aahed until we were spent.
That afternoon while returning to Destiny in our dinghy, our neighbors on Lady Leah waved us over. These guys were 4 Kiwi buddies on their annual fishing trip, from Stillwater, just north of Auckland. They handed us a bag of fresh Snapper fillets and invited us over for cocktails. I happily let Frank drop me off at Destiny with the fish and sent him back to Lady Leah to have some "guy time". Frank and the boys (Scotty, Rod, Mike and Pete) became fast friends over the next couple of days. We feasted on their fresh catches and had them over to Destiny for an evening. Before we weighed anchor tohead into Auckland, they handed Frank a bottle of their homemade rum – called "Sump Oil" then we all traded personal info and vowed to stay in touch. The boys insisted that we come to visit their yacht club when we head back north in April. We shall indeed.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Arrived at GBI on Nov 25th.
Posted by Barb Gladney at 8:37 PM