North Island, New Zealand
We took the InterIslander Ferry from Picton in the South to Wellington, in the North.  You can see the North Island coming out of the heads. 
The crossing was during the sunset and the seas were calm, it was a nice trip.  Below we saw the massive QMII, Queen Mary II leaving Wellington for Sydney.
The parks in New Zealand were fantastic.  To the left is one with a light house slide, to the right is the one in the botanical gardens, in Wellington.  We took a cable car up the hill and walked back down. There was a great flying fox (zip line).  These were everywhere and the kids loved them.
Phoebe found the best flying fox at a park in Wanganui.  This park was amazing, huge with fairy tale slides and swings.  To the right is the active Volcano, Ruapehu, at 9175 feet, the most recent eruption was in 1971.  We stopped at Lake Taupo for lunch and Phoebe took this great shot of a black swan.
We drove throught the thermal town of Rotorua and stopped at the Waimangu Thermal Reserve, a mini Yellowstone but the colors were much more vibrant.. To the left is the Opal pool and Drake plugging his nose, as he did not like the smell of the sulphur.  Phoebe stands infront of the large thermal pool. 
We went to Helensville, where our friends off s/v Lily Bolero live, whom we met in Tonga.  They took us to the beach, where the children boogie boarded in the Tasmen Sea.  Phoebe is with Meg top right, and top left is Meg, Mike, Jim,
Bess, Nellie, Rachel and Phoebe.  They are moving ashore so Nellie can go to High School 
The kids loved the pet guinea pigs.  Drake tries his hand and sand dune sliding.  Once again we saw a very tame Tasmen Sea.
Next stop was Whangerei, where we saw many of the boats that we had travelled with across the Pacific.  Drake is running down a sand dune at the heads to Whangerei.  The children are looking for tide pools.  We hiked to the waterfall and along a canopy walk just outside of town.  Phoebe loved the coiled fern leaves, which mean new beginings. 
We headed up to Keri Keri in the Bay of Islands.  Our friends Cricket and Conrad live there with their two children, Mekayla and Zoe.  We went to the University of Arizona with Cricket.  Conrad showed us the volcanic black rocks rising out of the sea.
Conrad grew up in New Zealand, and they have been living there for four years.  They started a company, Soujournz, and take clients out to see the Bay of Islands on their boat.  Conrad had Jim go snorkeling with him, where they picked fresh mussels off the rocks, then dove for scallops.  They were delicious, I can't eat another mussel or scallop unless it is as fresh. 
Cricket took us on a beautiful drive where we had a great picnic and the girls swam in the Pafic.  Little Beach Babes, it was wonderful how well they got along.  We had a great time at their house, catching up and reminiscing about old times. 
Zoe, 8,  and Mekayla, 9, on the boat.  They are Irish twins, born within 12 months of each other.  A view of the Bay of Islands, the weather was perfect.
From Keri Keri we went to Opua, a port town, where most of our friends sailed to and have stayed.  Some are continuing on, some selling their boats and some moving to NZ.  Tod and Juli took us on a day sail on s/v Capaz, to one of the outer islands.  Top left is Barry, Rita and Karen.  Barry and Karen are on s/v Sarabi and we first met in Mexico.  Top right is Alison, from s/v Zafarse, Jim and Tod.  We saw our friends from s/v Ohana Kai as well, with their two boys, Tristan and Matthew.  The kids loved being in charge of the dinghy.  Alison and I went for a kayak to the beach.
What is odd about this photo?  (Nice tender)
Kelly (girl) and Kelly (boy) aka "the Kellys" came along for the ride as well, with Kelly (boys') dad. They are on s/v Moorea.  Phoebe is pictured with Sebastian to the right, and to the left she and Zack are going for a swim off the kayak.  There was a lagoon to snorkel in,which had signs pointing out various items, Juli and I actually braved the cold water and went in.  We are saying goodbye to Bruce and Lisa and the boys on Ohana Kai, hopefully they will decide to go to Indonesia.  Juli and Tod are having one last drive on Capaz, as they are flying back to Oregon soon and deciding whether to sell or continue on.  We would love to see them in Indonesia as well.  Barry and Tod contemplate something, maybe having another beer. 
We went back to Keri Keri for one last day with Cricket and the kids.  There was a small town circus there, so we dropped the kids off and picked them up when it was over.  The kids had a ball, and were well behaved on their own.  Only in NZ can you do something like that.  Phoebe is with Mekayla and all the kids leaving.
After Keri Keri we drove to Auckland, where we last saw our friends from Tahiti, s/v La Verena.  They are from Germany, and when we first met, the kids spoke mostly German.  (It was great for P & D as they had to learn basic German in-order to play with their new friends.).  Killian and Isobel are now enrolled in NZ school and speak amazing english now.  Steffie and Alfred are top right, and we should see them in Indonesia.  Our other friends from s/v Beagle V invited us over for dinner, to the left is Emma and Alex and to the right is Cat and Lloyd.
We visited Brenda's parents who live in Gulf Harbor, north of Auckland.  Terry and Mary took us to feed the eels and birds, then showed us the view of downtown.  The kids stand in a picture frame with a great view. 
We had to go to the RNZYS (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron), the previous home of the America's Cup and Team New Zealand.  Above is their view.  The Americas Cup was housed here, and a person came and smashed it one day, it was repaired.  The new trophy case looks like it could hold The Declaration of Independence. Unfortunaltly the cup is now in Switzerland awaiting the next contest in Valencia, Spain.  We wish we could have seen it.   
Drake is pictued at "The Drake" a great pub we found, he is also touching the sky tower and  imitating a Tiki face.
The Auckland museum was another great place to visit.  Phoebe is playing in the hands on room and making dinner for everyone. 
Alex and Emma came to say goodbye and Drake beat him at a board game.  Our last meal was at a german restaurant called Der Metz, (Jim has been craving sauerbraten all the way across the pacific)

Well it's back to Sydney to work on s/v Blue Sky.