February 29

Zhoel and I had the day off together so we decided to head to Whangarei Heads to explore the Mermaid Pools. These are a series of rock pools that have been eroded into the rocks. They are the perfect depth to swim and lounge in (or pretend to be a mermaid, if that’s your thing.) We checked out a couple of nearby beaches before we hit the pools. At one stop, Zhoel took out a knife and cut an oyster off of the rock so that I could try my first raw oyster! It was surprisingly good. Although, I found the flavor is mostly just salty.

What we did not realize is that the hike to the mermaid pools themselves is quite challenging. The hill that we had to climb was almost vertical and we were wheezing by the time we reached the top.

However, the view was pretty amazing and the rock pools were fascinating. There was an entire ecosystem living in many of them. A few were so deep that I could’ve stood up and barely broken the surface of the water!

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