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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Taupo Tyre Repair

Taupo has several bike shops clustered together in one of the main streets, so I wasn’t too concerned when Torpedo 7, who normally do my bike servicing, told me their mechanic wouldn’t be able to replace my tyre until Sunday. When Top Gear Cycles next door told me they didn’t have any 26 inch mountain bike tyres, I did start to wonder if I would have to drive to Rotorua. Fortunately Pack and Pedal down the road had both stock and someone who could fit it for me.
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Pureora Timber Trail

Since I read about the opening of the Pureora Timber Trail almost exactly four years ago I have been itching to ride it, and with Felicity away overseas at a conference I finally got my opportunity. The trail is 85km long, and while some truly hard bastards ride it in one go, most take two days with an overnight camp in the middle.
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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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