Life on the farm

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, September 22, 2003

Yesterday morning we decided to check out of Pipi Patch but leave our bags there for the day. Having met Jula (from Germany) in our dorm we all decided to catch the ferry across to Russell and do a bit of tramping (walking to you and me). We did a couple of little walks skirting the coastline and then headed up to the historic flagpole on top of the hill (which has been chopped down about four times). Form here we could see great panoramic views over the Bay of Islands.

After walking over to the other side of Russell (Long Beach) and back again it was time to head back to Paihia for Jula to get back on her Stray travel bus. A quick sandwich later, Sebastian and I were back on the road to our next destination. We had acquired a BBH guide this morning that listed over 300 hostels, each one with a percentage rating given by backpackers. After being a little disappointed with Pipi Patch we decided to head for a place with a really high rating, and Kahoe Farm ($18) fitted the bill nicely.

On arrival it was obvious that this place was in a different league to the accommodation we had just come from. Full of character and in a fantastic location, surrounded by rolling hills and working cattle farms. After settling in and having another great meal it was nice to be sleeping in a spacious dorm made from local Kauri wood.

In the morning we decided to head off to the highest viewpoint in the region to get a panoramic view of the harbour and surrounding farmland. Although none of the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings locations were filmed in this part of New Zealand, it looks just as rugged and enchanting as anything I can remember from the first two movies.

We walked the wrong and long way through some bush to get to the nearby rock pools, only discovering this fact on our return that was straightforward and took less than half the time. I'd love to come back here when the weather is a little warmer as the pools look deep enough for a nice cooling swim on a hot day.

For dinner we headed into Mangonui (the nearest town) to a famous Fish and Chip shop, but ended up going to the wrong one (i.e. not the world famous one that stands on stilts in the water, which was just around the corner from where we parked). Having said that, my chips and veggie burger were pretty good and it was a great location sitting on the pier looking out across the water of Doubtless Bay.
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