After the caves we buzzed up north to meet Paddy who Alan used to work with, picking up our Fiji tickets en route in Hamilton. We spent a night in wild camping just north of Auckland in an area equivalent to Dalky, the neighbor's weren't too happy when they woke up and found their view of the beach blocked by the Travellers. Lovely place though. Off we went and met Paddy in the Bay of Islands which is a fab place. It was great catching up Paddy and comparing stories. We'd a few beers and headed out and had the largest burgers ever. Went in search of another pub but like so many other towns everything was closed or close to it. But you can't stop the Irish when they are thirsty so we found a cute wee bar tacked on the side of a hostel and finished our night there. We felt at home when a fight between a local stag do and some other locals broke out. Unlike Dublin there were no bouncers to break it up so it was a bit of a saloon style fight. Only the English and Irish stayed on to watch, the other tourist all fled.
The following day we met a friend of Paddy's just by chance on a ferry to a place called Russel. We spent a great day with him in Russel, eating and more eating and we're going to meet up with him in Sydney where he's just left for.