Show on map
  • Day42

    The Kauri Coast

    October 27, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Kauri Trees are found in large forests along these coasts hence the nickname the Kauri Coast. There are some museums about them and we should probably check them out because we don't really know the significance of them in all honesty. I think they may have been used for gum and there are a lot of carvings too. Unfortunately though there is a disease that is spread through soil contamination that is killing them off. We visited a particularly large tree today called Tane Mahuta which is sacred and thought to be over 2000 years old. It is pretty tall, but most impressive is its width. It is enormous!!!

    Anyway... the day started back at the motel campsite. Kim was extra helpful again and offered to help with the phone situation many times which was very nice. We had a nice facetime back home to catch up and then set off for our trip down the coast.

    We have done a lot of driving today, in fact unlike other days it has been majority driving, but the views along the way and the opportunities to stop off and enjoy them have been more than worth it. The route took us through plenty more countryside to begin with on the way to Shipwreck Bay. My favourite site is fields of little baby cows. Miniature little versions of their parents! So cute!
    We arrived at Ahipara Bay and pulled in to enjoy the view before heading slightly further along the Coast and down into Shipwreck Bay. We didn't see any wrecks which is a shame but the beach is beautiful. The sand is flat the whole way to the cliffs and the waves break and then stretch so far up the beach just gently sweeping over the sand. It was a really peaceful and gentle little Bay despite the name and again holds significance to the Maoris.

    We headed further South after a paddle and enjoyed a drive that now took us inland as we has to head around a large estuary. This was again like driving through Dales/forest, this time reminded of where we were by the presence of tropical birds. It's also incredible just how never ending this scenery is. We had now been driving for ages and still we hadn't come across anything other than green.

    One problem though.... fuel. We had decided to fill up further along this morning in search of cheaper fuel, however we ended up on a different route that did not include any petrol stations 😵We were now running scarily low and a bit worried we would stop moving with no phone signal if we didn't find something soon. We were going at a snails pace with Robs eco driving skills and just aimed for the next name on the map. Unfortunately it was about three houses and that was it.
    Our next hope was the same distance we had just driven again and we were not hopeful given the type of place we were and the result of the last so called place. But we had no choice. Fortunately a gas station crept into view as we arrived at the next town and we had a little celebration that we wouldn't be breaking down in the middle of nowhere! It was also cheaper than the others.... winning!! We stopped here to make lunch too and then decided to drive onward until finding a campsite as it was getting late and we wouldn't reach the forest until 4. We decided to do it tomorrow instead.

    The next section of driving took us through the Waipoua Forest which is incredibly dense and a mix of woodland forest and jungle in appearance. It made for very slow driving along the winding roads, some of which had large drops to the left, disguised by the dense tree growth.

    After a while of driving we came across a sign for Tane Mahuta, the giant Kauri tree we had hoped to see but had imagined we would have to walk to. The sign said 400m on the right and so we decided to stop. Turns out it was a 2 min walk from the road! We cleaned our shoes with the equipment provided to help protect the trees and then walked along the boardwalk through the forest. Tane Mahuta was enormous!! You had to stand back to see it and it wasn't easy to take a photo of it, especially one that represented its size. So glad we managed to stop and see it and we decided due to the Kauri disease that coastal walk tomorrow might be a better idea than a forest one. We headed to Dargaville now to camp for the night.

    Once out of the forest we were back on a beautiful coastal road and we had another couple of stops and strolls to view points, to make sure we took it all in. It makes for very distracting driving all these views! it's also nice to read the information about the different areas and their significance to the Maoris. The reserves are all looked after amazingly and the department of conservation amongst other groups seems to do a very good job at making sure areas are well looked after and make it easy for the public to do the right thing whilst enjoying the surroundings. I have also never known a place have so many 24 hour public toilets and sometimes showers that are actually really well maintained, again just another way that they make it so easy to visit.

    Eventually we came across a sign for a camp and decided, as we had no other way of finding one, to just turn off and follow it. It was a lovely campsite too and the lady in the office practically shooed us off to the cliff side to see the sunset after dinner. So glad she did... it was beautiful. Too many clouds to see it fall below the sea but the clouds also made it look stunning and you could even make out rain showers out to see that were glowing in the golden light. As it set further the bottom of the clouds shone so brightly and so orange that it looked like they were pieces of melting lava about to drop out the sky.

    We headed back to camp and played some uno with a nice tipple of rum and then headed to bed once the Mosquitos came out to play.
    Read more