Monday, 2 April 2012

Kauri Coast to Bay of Islands

After a night in Manukau (which also seemed to be staging the closing parties for at least 4 softball teams that had played a tournament) we woke up to rain and grey skies, which was unusual as today was a long driving day. 

We travelled passed Auckland and over the harbour bridge northwards towards the Kauri coast. This drive was the dullest so far.  We saw many towns, none of which we wanted to stop in let alone live in, not even Dargaville - 'world famous' as the kumara (a red sweet potato) capital of the world! After 4 hours we arrived at the Kauri coast area which lies on the west coast of Northland. 

The star of this area is Tane Mahuta - a giant Kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest.  Tane Mahuta means 'Lord of the Forest' in Maori and its girth is over 17.5m.
The Lord and lady

Pictures of Tane Mahuta really cannot pervey the sheer size of this tree

It's really big

And just in case you missed DS, look again at this one!

We left the Lord to get some rest and checked into to our campsite for the night. The sun had come out and the nice people here had built a flying fox course for us to play on!

You're not Japanese!

V graceful

We woke up early. Not because we wanted to, but because the rain was loud. Again, it was a driving day so this was unusual. We drove to Northland's only city, Whangerei, but the rain was so hard we didn't even get out of the van.  We continued up to the Bay of Islands and the rain stopped!

Paihia is the main town in the region and the main harbour town for tour boats. We parked up and headed into the tour booking building, just as all sailings were cancelled due to the winds!

Instead we pulled on our walking gear and headed to Hururu Falls, a horseshoe falls a few miles north of Pahia.

Little Niagara

Next up was Kerikeri, home to New Zealand's oldest trading post (and oldest stone building), the Stone Store. Building began in 1832 and was completed 1836.

Kerikeri Stone Store

A short drive and a walk from the store was Rainbow Falls, probably the last waterfall we will see in NZ. Not because there aren't anymore, but because we have simply seen too many!

The plan for the following two days was boat trips and beach time.  For 48 hours it rained constantly and the winds were so strong even the ferry stopped running meaning that most of the shops and restaurants also shut. Our view on Bay of Islands? No idea - didn't see them! Grrrrrr

Going nowhere

Nice weather for Wekas!
Not happy


View from the van. Would be beautiful on a nice day!

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