The Northland & 1200 StairsFebruary 3, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C
Way back in July, when we planned the trip, we thought that we would suffer from jet lag from such a long trip, but luckily for us, it was not bad. We thought that a quiet weekend in Auckland would help us get over the time difference but we really didn’t need it.
Anyways, after 3 nights in the big city, we happily got in the car and headed north to a small town in the Northland called Pakaraka, very close to Kerikeri and Russell in the Bay of Islands, 226 km away.
We knew that it would take us about 3 hours, so we just took our time and meandered north. The plan was to see as many of the following cool places as possible. What we didn’t have time to see, we would try to see on our way back.
Here’s the list. The stars * indicate that we stopped there.
* 1. Warkworth - * a hike in the Dome Forest to the Dome Valley Lookout (336m). We found the start to the trail, which was just off Hwy 1, and walked up 600 stairs through a beautiful forest to the Dome summit. From there, we could see the Sky Tower in Auckland! This stop took about 2 hours, so we got our exercise for the day - 600 stairs up and then down.
- Parry Kaure Park - loop walk and museum - we didn’t do this as one hike was enough but it sounds beautiful!
*2. Wellsford - Champion Bakery - someone recommended their meat pies so we stopped here to buy a couple of their bacon and egg pies and a couple of steak and cheese pies. Inexpensive and tasty.
*3. Kaiwaka - La Nonna Italian Bakery was recommended as a good place to stop for coffee and a treat but it was closed on Mondays, so we didn’t go there.
- *Cheese store - There were more than fiftytwo cheeses, most of which are cut to order from the ‘wheel’, an old fashioned way. Many of the cheeses are organic and there are several vegetarian options. We bought some excellent cheddar and thick yogurt.
4. Waipu - Uretiti Beach and Waipu Caves to see glow worms at no cost. We were running out of time so only stopped in Waipu for a late lunch and craft beer at *McLeod’s Pizza Barn. The food was good.
5. Kawakawa - Hundertwasser Toilets - colourful and artistic public toilets very close to our BnB. We’ll save this for another day.
At some point, we turned off the highway and got ‘lost’ on a gravel road in the lovely hilly countryside, near Pakiri.
We arrived in Pakaraka at around 4:30 p.m. and were pleasantly pleased with our new accommodations! Stay tuned...Read more