A very pleasant 3 and a half hour Emirates flight followed by a reasonably pleasant 4 hour drive north and we arrive in Russell on the Bay of Islands. We imagined New Zealand to be gorgeous but I think we underestimated its beauty. Every turn of the road elicited more wows at the stunning scenery. Russell is very pretty and the house we rented is right on the beach - lovely listening to the waves at night. The first day was a little chilly but sunny. The next day a massive powercut hit Auckland and north - luckily only a few daylight hours of no heat/water.