This Labour Day holiday we were well-organised – I hadn’t unloaded the kayak gear from last weekend – so we escaped the city late morning on Friday, heading south. By the time we reached Otorahonga we were ready for lunch, so we stopped at the Haurua rest area. This is the start of the King Country, and there is a memorial stone marking the spot where the first Māori king met with the Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs in 1857 to get their support. Europeans could not enter this area for the next quarter of a century. Fortunately for us the locals tolerate pakeha tourists these days.
Continue reading Whakapio Bay
Felicity has a function to attend in Whangarei on Monday, so we decided to spend the weekend up north in the motorhome. As usual we didn’t have much of a plan when we left home, but as we neared Wellsford she rang our friends Lannes and Linda in the Bay of Islands, and received an invitation to park in their driveway overnight.
Continue reading Toretore Island
After abandoning our plans to go away in the camper last week due to the horrible weather, we committed ourselves this weekend no matter what. I loaded the kayaks on Thursday so by late morning Friday we were ready to hit the road south, way before any motorway traffic to slow us down.
The only slight problem was that yet again we were short on cheese. A first-world problem to be sure, but needing to be rectified nonetheless. Continue reading Lake Rerewhakaatiu
This weekend we’ve been down in Whitianga, where Felicity was running a GP Research conference. We drove down on Thursday afternoon, not quite beating the traffic out of Auckland. Darkness fell as I drove over the Coromandel Ranges on the Kopu – Hikuai Rd.
Continue reading Whitianga Conference
I had parked the motorhome on some very soft grass at Rainbow Falls, so I turned on the 4WD for a hundred metres or so as we were leaving this morning. I expect most of the time I do it will only be to park right on the edges of rivers and beaches and lakes where you wouldn’t quite trust a two wheel drive vehicle.
Continue reading Keri Keri River
When I woke up this morning I could hear light rain falling on the motorhome roof, but Felicity leapt into action and soon after 7.30 I was outside in my raincoat getting the kayaks ready to launch. Fortunately the clouds cleared and by the time we hit the water the sun was beginning to peek through.
Continue reading Whananaki Inlet
The Department Of Conservation is currently re-building the Okura Walkway, and intend to use 30 metres of a product called Geoweb to hold a mixture of bark and gravel in place. A local group I belong to called Friends of Okura Bush is concerned that kauri and kahikatea roots will penetrate this plastic mesh, and will then be damaged by heavy foot traffic on this popular track.
We have previously seen a small section of Geoweb on the Keri Keri walkway, but when I was told that there has been quite a bit used on the Taheke Waterfall Track just north of Whangarei I decided to check it out.
Continue reading Taheke Waterfall Track