Tree&Treaty history, plus glowing caves
Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
163Trip End Apr 09, 2013
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Trounson Kauri Park is such a DOC site including a camping area. Therefore we chose this site and paid our donation for the first camp night in New Zealand. As we arrived late, we quickly put on the tent and organized ourselves a dinner. It is going to be a cold and wet night
The next day the sun was shining and our tent was dry, hurry hurry, quick quick we rapped in our tent. A lovely little bushwalk was nearby and before we knew it, we were "lost" in time and beautiful nature. DOC provides sometimes also the information about the bushes, plants, trees and animals which are living in that specific area. So we encountered our first big tree called “Kauri”. Kauri trees are immense and therefore “hot” for the lumbering industry. In the past, there has been a lot of chopping of these majestic trees and therefore, they are now protecting these giants from extinction. Returned to our campsite, we had our coffee and of we went, onwards with our Scenic drive. During our drive to Waitangi, we passed the real Giants amongst the giants. The lord and the father of Forest, as the Maori call these Kauris. These two trees are world famous because of its size. One is the tallest Kauri, the other one the biggest. To understand these sizes, you have to study the photos and try to imagine yourself next to them. Yes, you are small and little!!
On we went and without further delays we arrived at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It was here, that the independence was signed of New Zealand between the Maori and the British Throne
In Waitangi we got recommended the Olive Grove camp site. Olive Grove Campsite offers a magnificent spot for campers including some free lemons/oranges as well for a little payment some free range eggs and homemade Manuka honey. By reaching Waitangi, we reached our most northern spot in New Zealand. From there on, we would go south, more south until we would reach Wellington. But that will be in 10 days or so.
After some heavy rainfall during the night, sunshine has come and dried our tent quickly. We made a delicious breakfast with all the fresh ingredients until we were stuffed. Time to get back on the road. South is the direction and during our drive, we passed by at Kawiti. Kawiti is a small town with no importance but does have a beautiful glow worm cave with a beautiful walk. We got to know everything about the glow worms. How their circle of live is (answer: they are feeding for 9 month – “glowing period”- and then they maid and die), why are they glowing (answer: to attract food), how do they catch their food ( answer: with almost invisible, small and sticky dreads) – they eat mosquitos and sandflies!! We love them especially because of their diet. It is really impressive to see them from a small distance and within a small group of tourists (besides us, there is only one other couple from Canada)
Time to continue and we booked ourselves in at the household of the Ways. Some more Settlers and…. return of the Kings! But this time, it was Inge who defended the honour of the Way family! Congrats Inge! such a good time we had, and such a pity we have to leave once more. Hopefully we'll see you back soon, in NL or elsewhere!