Up early to catch a 10am bus to Paihia, a very tourist-driven town about four hours drive north of Auckland. Fortunately I bought a novel (Tom Clancey's "Teeth of the Tiger") yesterday which helped pass some of the time away. The countryside, whilst it is beautiful, is repetitive.
Got to Paihia about 2:30pm and checked in to one of the hostels, "Centabay". It is a little less modern than the places I have stayed up to now, but it is clean and has all the normal facilities.
Went for a walk through the main part of town and checked out the activities. Booked in for an all-day tour tomorrow on a boat called "The Rock" - interesting name for a boat.
Also thought about doing a three-day jaunt on a ocean-racing yacht. But the trip would have to be from Auckland to Paihia and it doesn't depart until Saturday which means I wouldn't get to Fiji until the start of Feb. Could probably live with that except it is $500 and I don't think I can be that frivolous with the cash. Perhaps another time.
So I spent the remainder of the day looking around town and the night at the hostel just chilling out.