NZ Day 1 Auckland to Kawakawa Bay via Omana Beach

Ten members from DUBBUG made it to NZ to commence a couple of week tour through the North Island of New Zealand.  Some arrived earlier and discovered that NZ is no longer a cheap country to travel around, however there is plenty of fresh fruit & vegetables and, of course, lamb!
The riding team consists of Mike & Colleen, Robert & Liz, Don & Michelle, Rayner, Phil, Mark, & Dave (ED).
A late start, with brilliant weather, had Rayner safely navigate us out the busy roads of Auckland and onto our first big hill leading to beach area.  Lunch at Omana Beach was delightful with Colleen preparing a sumptious lunch and ED taking a welcome dip in the ocean.
Unfortunately for Colleen, an injury from a fall the previous week at DUBBUG (not on bike) meant she is unable to ride, so kindly offered to man the “support vehicle”, a welcome task in that it means we are no longer carrying paniers on our bikes.
We are booking accomodation as we go, this enables flexibility as to the route we take and allows for changes in travel plans.  The beaches area was definitely a highlight, complete with foreshore cycle path that took us through Maraetal, a beautiful stretch of the coast with pristine beaches.  Mark became our first casualty with a flat tyre whilst navigating the bike trail along the coast. Liz experienced gear problems near Clevedon, bravely biking on. 
The detour via the beaches meant we comfortably made it to Kawakawa Bay, after returning inland to Clevedon.  We stayed a night in a motel located on the edge of the bay, overlooking the water – a pleasant way to enjoy “home cooked” pasta as the sun set.
Distance:  70 km
Highlight:  “Good Morning” and “Good night” hills