Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kauri Coast

Today it was the day of the big trees. And boy are they huge. I had forgotten and was quite astounded how suddenly this Hollywood sized tree can appear in amongst what up till that point had looked liked a reasonable sized forest.
An hour later I witnessed an elderly Maori gentleman singing a welcome to the "Father of the Forest" an equally giant Kauri. While I am normally quite sceptical of performances like that, this looked completely natural. The guy had a good voice too.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


After packing up the tent I headed for Kataia to use an internet cafe then drove to Ahipara where I spent a few hours on the beach and was entertained by some tourists in a beaten up old camper-van who were obviously unfamiliar with such things as tides and the fact that sand, water and camper-vans don't mix. They did eventually manage to get loose before their van turned into a submarine but it was a close thing.
From Ahipara I went the scenic route through Herekino and Broadwood marveling at the rural scenery before eventually takeing the ferry from KohuKohu to Rawene where I promptly ran into my old friend PJ.
Paul and his partner have a house overlooking the Hokianga Harbour and some of the best views you could wish for so most of the evening was spent on the deck looking at the view and reminiscing about the good old times. A very pleasant day again indeed.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Sand and sea.

I am camping in Pukenui and from here it's only a short drive to the various beaches that dot the area. I found Henderson Bay a magnificent and magnificently quiet beach with white sand that goes on for miles and no one on them. On the other side of the Peninsula there is Te Paki stream with it's huge sand dunes and giant west coast waves and of course Ninety Mile Beach that goes on for well sixty miles or so.

Cape Reinga

Well I made it to Cape Reinga and it's famous light house. While not quite the most northern point in the country it's as close as you can get without a five hour hike.
My last visit here must have been something like twenty years ago and while the country side and sea views are as spectacular as ever the road to it has improved a great deal and bar a three kilometer stretch is now completely sealed. The light house and surrounding area itself has also had a makeover and now has ample car parking, modern toilets and a beautiful trail with explanatory signs leading down to the light house itself.
Outside the entrance was the opportunity to sponsor a native tree or flower to assist with the replanting of the surrounding area. So I handed over twenty dollars and got to choose what plant I wanted to have, a Hebe Stricta in my case, and then with the help of a lovely Maori lady plant and water it. I also received a certificate with the coordinates on it so I can come and visit it when I am up next and a postcard of Cape Reinga that I have mailed off to Daniel and Laura.

Telephone on the blink.

The title says it all. My iPhone which I also use to post my blog updates has died. All I get is a black screen and nothing else. I'll have a go at fixing it when I am in Whangarei next Wednesday but it will probably have to go back to Apple.
It was an expensive toy and I am not happy about it but that's life.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Today I gave in and went on a hole in the rock and dolphin watching tour. It was money well spent. The sun was shining bright and we saw several pods of dolphins. To me the highlight was the bay and the islands itself though. Blue sea and green bush is really New Zealand at it's best.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Today I made a pilgrimage to one of the more controversial places in the country. Waitangi and the treaty are guaranteed to get people talking, some love it some loath it, everyone has an opinion.
As for the place itself I enjoyed it probably more for the views then for it's significance but I did pick up a book on the treaty for a bit of further reading on the subject.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A day in Russell

Had coffee and muesli for breakfast before setting of for Russell, I took the ferry across from Pahia then walked up, slowly, to flagstaff hill. The flaggstaff is unimpressive but the views are fantastic. It was also a good try out for my knees who held up well. Back down in Russell I visited the oldest church in the country. A rather simple affair completely surrounded by a cemetry.
Had lunch at Hone's Burger & Beer bar a funky place in someones backyard with pleasant seats under shady trees and reggea on the sound system.
After another stroll along the waterfront I got a ferry back to Pahia and by 4 I was back at the campground where it's a bit more overcast then yesterday. It looks like there might be some rain in the air.

Russell from Flaggstaff hill

High tide

Woke up this morning to find the water lapping at my tent door. So while others moved their belongings I checked the tide-time table and made myself a coffee. Not a thing in my tent got wet.
Another high tide at 10 o'clock tonight though and possibly a little higher.

Monday, March 01, 2010


The weather was down right dreary when I left Whangarei this morning and at times it rained hard enough to make me slow down to a crawl. But the closer I got to the Bay of Islands the better it got and by the time the ferry carried me across from Russell to Opua the sun was shining again.
Right now I am sitting in front of my tent watching Haruru falls cascading in the lagoon below and a few young kids jumping from high up in a tree to the water below. Life is good.