Tree Hugging

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, December 12, 2010


Day : 211
Temperature : 24 degrees
Weather : Mixed

We headed into Auckland to pick up a couple of things which we'd ordered from a photography shop. As the navigator, I was somewhat dreading the prospect of advising Kevin which way to go.  I was convinced (and I'm sure most of you would completely understand) that we would end up having a, how shall I put it, "heated disagreement",  as we would no doubt get lost several times and end up on some random one way system taking us back to Wellington! And it would probably be all my fault. So, I sat in the passenger seat with the laptop on and a Google map of Auckland on the screen, doing my best not to shout “that way!”, which, as Kevin quite correctly reminds me, is no particular use at all when you need to know if you are turning left or right.

Amazingly, we managed to arrive at our destination without a single raised voice…quite a feat when you consider that normally when we drive to Heathrow airport to go on holiday we’ve often had at least one minor argument before we leave our village! We collected our items from the shop then left.  I then managed to navigate us to probably the only slip road to the motorway in Auckland that was closed for road works that day. We were then directed onto a rather complicated one way diversion route that seemed to take us in circles for ever, and needless to say we ended up getting completely lost. There then followed a bit of a scene and it seemed that my navigation success was apparently over.

As we left Auckland heading further north we were given magnificent views from the bridge over the harbour back to Auckland. It looked amazing. We continued north to the Kauri Coast on the west side of Northland, which is famous for it’s huge, ancient Kauri trees.  We made it as far as Baylys Beach before sunset and decided to call it a day watching another lovely sunset with a glass of wine in hand.

Next morning we continued north once again, passing through the beautiful Waipoua Forest. We stopped to do a bit of tree hugging with a couple of these big monsters. The photos really can’t do it justice. The largest tree we saw, called Te Matua Ngahere, or Father of the Forest, is considered to be between 2,000 and 2,500 years old and has a trunk girth of 16.4 metres! Pretty impressive. We stopped by the visitor centre which is situated in the forest by a picturesque river, and we stopped for a break, and of course the compulsory swim in the swimming hole! Well, I went swimming. Kevin will only get in the water if he’s got his scuba diving gear on and there’s a shark to see!

As we neared Omapere the highway passed over some hills and just before the coast we stopped by a picnic area which had sweeping views over the town, the sea and some huge sand dunes. We crossed the vehicle ferry from Rawene to Kohukohu and continued on. We finally arrived at Ninety Mile Beach, which, as the name suggests, is an extremely long sweeping arc of sand, pounded by the surf from the Tasman Sea. We stopped to watch a few of the locals performing some crazy driving feats on the beach (you can drive on this beach at low tide) and after the excitement was over we headed back to Lake Ngata to camp for the night.

Next stop, the very top.
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Eileen on

Awwwhhhhh ...... when are you coming home !! i know you are having a great time but ........WHAT ABOUT ME ! :O) xxxxxxx

Antony on

Tree pics look great....bring me back some seeds and maybe I can try and grow back in Thialand.

nomadic-brands on

Eileen - I keep telling you to come and visit!!! We've had a spare bed here in Harold for the past month!!! Ah well, you'll just need to come visit us in Rarotonga over Christmas instead :)
Ants - you could try, but I reckon you'll be long gone by the time they get to the size of the ones we saw!! :-P

Eileen on

if customs officer is reading this you are both gonna get strip searched at Heathrow !!!


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