Dolphins a highlight of Northland
Ben and Lisa are enjoying everything Northland has thrown at them, from sand boarding to swimming with dolphins.
by Erin Boyle
The cold winter waters of July did nothing to sway Ben’s decision to swim with dolphins if he got the chance on his Great Sights Dolphin and Hole in the Rock Cruise.
And besides, the lad from Liverpool in the UK was no stranger to a chill in the air.
“It was amazing, unreal and half way through I thought to myself ‘I can’t believe this – I’m in the ocean by myself with six dolphins!’
“I imagined that you would be in there and they would swim past and you would get a glimpse of a tail, but it was so intimate. They were play fighting, swimming around me, clicking. They actually came up to me, and it kind of looks like they are smiling at you.”
After only 10 days in New Zealand, the rest of Ben’s tour around the country will have to involve some pretty awesome activities to beat his up close and personal experience with dolphins and his whole time up North.
“We went to Cape Reinga and that was amazing. And I really like the vibe up here. Although it is quite intangible, it feels really relaxed up here and the locals are really easy to talk to.
“After my 30 day tour I am going back to the UK, but I might get a Visa and come back to New Zealand. If there was a job going on the dolphin boat, I would definitely take it!”
And further down the track, the Bay of Islands is on Ben’s bucket list of places to retire.
Lisa, another newly arrived UK traveller, has also been enchanted by Northland and already started her adrenalin-fuelled adventure to New Zealand with a quick round of sand boarding down the dunes.
“After a shower I still have sand everywhere. You have to keep your mouth closed and it gets in your ears, but it was so much fun and I would highly recommend it to others.
“A guy on the bus didn’t have it as part of his package, so had to pay extra to do it and was worried about spending the money, but he said it was so worth it!”
After her friend returned from New Zealand and couldn’t stop going on about what an amazing time she had, Lisa knew she would have to get down here and so far it is all she thought it would be.
“Some people I know have done world trips and they say New Zealand is the most beautiful country they have seen. So I saved up all my money to come here, and I’m really keen to do all the adventure activities like bungy jumping and black water rafting. And I guess I would say to others, make sure you do as much as you can and speak to as many different people as you can, because you might only get here once.
“I’m glad I flew half way around the world to be here.”
Listen to Lisa’s story on our latest podcast podcast