Earth can have very few sights more fair than this view of the Hokianga harbour. As you come over the hill and round the bend, this breathtaking view greets you. We were fortunate to see it on a beautiful late autumn day when the blue of the sky and the sea seemed boundless. We then meandered down through the little settlement of Omapere and into Opononi, where we had delicious coffee, confirming our opinion that, even in the smallest New Zealand town, you always find good coffee. Then we viewed the statue of Opo  – a wild bottle-nosed dolphin who started following fishing boats in the harbour after her mother died. She soon became a celebrity and would allow children to swim beside her and played with the balls they threw to her. She died in 1956 and was buried in a special plot near the town hall. As I looked out over the magnificent harbour that was her playground, Don McGlashan’s song Miracle Sun went through my head. Only in New Zealand!

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