Powhiri in Whakatane

As Felicity has an event in Whakatane to attend on Monday, we decided to drive down on Friday and spend the weekend in the area. We were keen on a paddle in our kayaks, but the weather on Friday was looking a bit wild so we headed for Lake Okareka, just to the west of Lake Tarawera, in the hope that it would be relatively sheltered.
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Far North for New Year

Despite our advice to nephew Ben that Northland would be hellish between Christmas and New Year, we had a couple of visitors from West Island with us who were keen to spend the week in a tropical climate, so we went anyway. Felicity and I were in the motorhome, while Robyn and Gary drove my X-trail with our double kayak on the roof.
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Whakaipo Bay

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.
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Lake Rerewhakaatiu

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

Taheke Waterfall Track

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.
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Whananaki

Our plan for Anzac weekend really only extended as far as visiting Felicity’s cousin for dinner and spending the night outside his house near Parua Bay, just north of Whangarei. We were only a couple of kilometres away when there was a terrible vibration and smashing noise from the rear of the campervan, so I pulled over to the side of the road just opposite the yacht club. All the rubber tread on one tyre had de-laminated and was lying on the road about 20 metres behind us, so it was obvious we were going to be a bit later than expected.
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Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp

The Motutapu camp at Administration Bay is an ex-WW2 military facility that is now used mostly by school groups for outdoor education. When it is not full of school kids, members of the public can book the old barracks for group events. One of Felicity’s colleagues has a great love of the island, and decided to hold a weekend party to celebrate her 50th birthday.
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Easter at Rotoiti

A friend of ours rented a holiday house located right on the shore of Lake Rotoiti over Easter, and invited a dozen of us to celebrate her forthcoming 75th birthday. We loaded our kayaks on the roof of the campervan and left early on Good Friday morning to beat the traffic. As we had hoped, the motorway was clear, so exactly an hour after leaving home we were stopped on the bank of the Waikato at Mercer eating breakfast.
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Lake Maraetai

Out trip across Cook Strait was quite a bit rougher than the previous trip, but the combination of a sea-sick prevention pill and finding a strategic position in the centre of the boat meant that I didn’t suffer unduly. Because of the wind, the captain was forced to take a longer course and we were an hour and a half late docking in Wellington, but this gave me the opportunity to watch two complete movies, which distracted me from the sight of the horizon moving up and down alarmingly.
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