Covered in more than 150 islands, the Bay of islands was created when the rising sea flooded green river valleys, leaving in their place picturesque landscape and marvellous anchorages.
This morning, a short motor took Australis 1 roughly 9km north of Paihia to the anchorage of Whale Bay.
Volcanic activity is evident in the mass of partial craters that remain, and the magnificent features of Black Rocks. Formed from a series of volcanic eruptions roughly one million years ago the basalt rocks are a stunning reminder of the upheavals that created this magnificent land of the long White Cloud.
These rocks we discovered, were the perfect place for a spot of fishing and a feed of king fish decorated our plates that night.
The colour of the water was surreal, continually changing, depending on the angle of the sun.