our week and a half on the North Island, we visited Auckland,
the Bay of Islands, Corromandel, Rotorua, and Wellington.
The few remaining wild regions of the island are quite beautiful,
with lush trees and ferns. Unfortunately, most of the land
has been deforested and turned into farms or replanted with
non-native pine trees for timber. One highlight was a side
trip to Waitomo Caves, where we viewed dramatic cave formations
and thousands of glowworms in the dark that lit up the ceiling
like stars (no pictures allowed). It was also a nice, sheltered
reprieve from the seemingly endless rain.