On the way back from the falls we stopped at the grocery store and had a good time looking at all the neat things that we can't get back home
. We got some Dargaville kumara – kumara is what they call sweet potato, a very common vegetable around here but Dargaville kumara is a variety only common in the North. Its flesh is the colour of a Yukon Gold, but its skin is of a beetroot shade and it is very knarly. We found it just as sweet as your average kumara, but a lot more “earthy” or “potent”.
Neither one of us cares much for kiwi fruit, but we figured we should give it a try. I had been told that the locals mainly eat a kiwi with a yellow center. Its true! We bought one and it is delicous! Golden kiwi is very refreshing, very flavourful but I couldn’t quite decide on what it tastes like. A whole bunch of different tropical fruits mixed into one?
Something else we tried is a thick juice, more like a smoothie really, made out of a fruit called feijoa. So refreshing! And tangy! Very nice after a long day of hiking in the sun.
Liz bought a fruit called “tangelo”, a mix between a tangerine and a grapefuit. Apparently. She hasn’t tried it yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
Whangarei, pronounced "Fangaray" is the capital of Northland and a very nice little town. It is surrounded by hills and has a very nice harbour. Once off the bus I met Liz, from Yorkshire, who was also interested in hiking to the Whangarei falls, "the most photographic falls in NZ". Or so they say. We hiked up the (very steep) hill to the hostel which is just outside the main part of town, had lunch on the terace with a nice view of the city, and then made out way to the falls. You can take a trail most of the way there but most people choose to walk as it's about a two hour walk each way from the center of town. The trails are really nice as they meander through forests and follow a river with a particular colour to it most of the way there. At 26m in height, the falls are lovely, of course. It was rewarding to make it all that way.