As we drove from Warkworth out to Leigh, we went past a huge queue of traffic heading back the opposite way. It was a bit daunting, to be honest. Not much to be done for it though, there was only one way out really, and we were already on the road, so it was just a matter of crossing our fingers and hoping the traffic had gone by the time we finished.
The reptile park was exactly as I remembered it. It has little signs with info about each reptile, but it's not overly educational. More just for fun. We played 'spot the reptile' because most of them are crazy hard to see. We all had turns being the one who saw them first, which was good, because it meant Caitie didn't whine too much about not being the first to spot them. There were tuatara, iguanas, skinks, chameleons, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, water dragons, and even tarantulas. It was all pretty cool. The day wasn't cool at all though, the day was stinking hot. We had all brought hats, and we put sunscreen on when we arrived, so thankfully we didn't get burned. We were hot and thirsty though, by the time we finished.
Afterwards we headed to Goat Island as planned. The water was rougher than we expected, and there was a sign up warning people not to snorkel because of a dangerous rip. We wandered down anyway. We all went in up to our knees, and the water was really cold against our hot skin. It didn't take us long to acclimate to the water though, and soon enough we were all soaked. Yup, even me. I was wearing denim shorts and a t-shirt, and I waded out just to knee height, but then the waves came and splashed me up to my waist, and then Steve decided it would be hilarious to cup water in his hands and tip it down my cleavage.
We walked over to the rocks, and there was a blowhole (I don't know a better word for it!) that sprayed water up into the air with every wave. Jayden went and stood in front of it, and basically had a shower with every wave. Sometimes the water only came up to his knees, but often it was over head, and sometimes strong enough to reach Steve and I who were standing about 10-15m away from it. It was great fun for him, and I wished I could have got a photo, but I hadn't dared bring my phone down, and was glad I hadn't, considering how wet my shorts were, but still... Caitie ended up joining in, standing in front of Jayden so he took the brunt of it, but she still got soaked.
We were there probably an hour or so, then we piled back into the car. We figured we'd give the traffic some more time to die down, plus we were starving and dying of thirst, so we went to the Rusty Pelican in Matakana. Jayden and I had nachos, Steve had a burger, and Caitie had stuffed potato skins. The food was fairly good, but there was a long wait because they were very busy. The meals were huge, and although the desserts sounded amazing, we really couldn't have eaten another mouthful.
Sadly, the traffic queue hadn't gone away - it had got worse. D'oh! We sat in traffic for about an hour, inching our way towards Warkworth, playing 'I Spy' to entertain ourselves. It seemed like it was going to be the same all the way back to town, so as soon as we'd gone through the Warkworth intersection, Steve turned off and followed a road across to SH16 and we went home that way. We didn't get home until about 10:30pm, which was much later than we had originally planned. It was a good day though, despite the traffic. It felt like summer, and like we'd done something with our weekend, you know?