First thing Saturday morning ,we head out to Te Arai Point, a local surf spot on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. Te Arai is know for it’s beautiful beaches and spectacular scenery.
The surf report predicted 3-5 foot waves but when we got there the waves looked much bigger. Chad did some surfing while I practiced my photography since the waves were too big for beginners like me. I watched many surfers enter the water only to be discourage by getting caught in the breaking waves and unable to make it out far enough. The waves this day were sporadic and frequent.
Out of nowhere, Chad said to me: “Look, there is dolphins in the distance.” We were happy with just sighting the dolphins swimming in the distance, we has no idea what we were going to witness next. We had the privilege of seeing wild dolphins surfing the waves, playing, and leaping out of the water. We thought that maybe this is something that commonly happens in this exquisite country, until we saw a local running down the beach drawing everyones attention to the dolphins. That’s when we knew we were truly witnessing a once in a lifetime sight.
These dolphins were breathtakingly graceful. They were sharing the waves with the surfers and springing out of the water only a few feet from the them without disturbing a single person. The dolphins would surf a set of waves, then swim away only to return for the next set. We are both so blessed and thankful to had witnessed this astonishing sight.
YOU HAVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO LINKED BELOW!
In the afternoon, we head to Goat Island to go snorkeling. Apparently, there once used to be goats that inhabited that little island in the distance. Currently, there are no more goats on the island, but the tour instructor told us that there are blue penguins that live there! This area was the first marine reserve in New Zealand. The reserve is a safe haven for many species of fish, a popular snorkeling spot, and also a local dive spot. Marine life aside, it is worth visiting for the views alone.
As documented in our video, the water was slightly murky this day due to the swell. If we could give any advice to others who want to go to snorkeling at Goat Island (or snorkeling in general), it would be to go on a nice calm day. The current caused the water to become slightly murky limiting our visibility. We have been told that on other days the water is crystal clear and there is a million sea creatures to see.
Even though the snorkeling was somewhat of a let down, the day was an overall success! Since the current was so strong during our excursion, we got a killer workout swimming, we got to spend a lovely morning at the beach, AND we got to see jumping dolphins!
I’ve included some extra photo’s that I took that didn’t necessarily compliment the text. Hope you enjoy them!