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Don't let a little morning cloud stop you from getting on the water. This was at around 7.30am and according to the weather report these clouds were meant to pass. Sure enough, by midday we had blue sky and no wind. Perfect conditions for a paddle on the great lake.

Early morning on Mount Manaia. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m sometimes envious of south island folk with their snow­capped alpine peaks, crystal clear lakes and stunning glaciers. But on mornings like this, we're reminded that up here in the north, we’re just as fortunate.

We’ve had some pretty dismal spring weather of late but when the sun decided to make an appearance on Saturday we made the most of it with a visit to Te Arai Point, our favourite East coast beach north of Auckland.

We’ve had some pretty dismal spring weather of late but when the sun decided to make an appearance on Saturday we made the most of it with a visit to Te Arai Point, our favourite East coast beach north of Auckland.

A trip to the Maori rock carvings in Mine Bay is a must do for anyone visiting Lake Taupo. There are a number of cruise operators that will take you there as they are only accessible from the water. But if you really want to get up close and personal with this impressive 10m high carving, paddling is the way to go.

Looking across Upper Tama Lake towards Mt Ngauruhoe catching the clouds.

Despite the stormy autumnal weather this weekend, if you’re willing to get up early to greet the sun, you can still have mornings like this here in the north.

Debs enjoying a mid­-paddle snooze off Orewa. Orewa Beach, just north of Auckland, is about 2.5km long so a morning paddle from one end to the other and back makes for some good exercise.

Gearing up for an early morning paddle on one of our all time favourite beaches - Hahei Beach, Coromandel.

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