Northland part 1

Day 2. Up early for the sunset, long-suffering still tired after 3am wake up call from yours truly for toilet run to the hole in the ground – It was pitch black. Two well-timed shooting stars did much to soothe and I was eventually partly forgiven!

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Whangarei falls Photo: Richard Mower

Whangarei Falls – short 30 minute drive from Uretiti beach, 26m high waterfalls. Walkways took us in a loop up, over and down these spectacular falls. Sunlight streamed through the thick lush New Zealand bush onto the cascading water. Crocosmia glowed orange on the river banks, exposed roots created living sculpture on bare earth and a friendly duck came to check us out!

Next stop Matapouri Bay for a two hour loop walk up and over headland down to Whale Bay where we relaxed on the beach and soaked up the suns rays before the steep climb back up to our motor home now going by the name of …….          ‘Aramoana’ a Maori name meaning ‘Pathway to the Sea’.

Driving the coast road, our next overnight stop was Puriri Bay D.O.C site in Whangaruru. After a glorious day of clear blue skies and 28° temperatures our late afternoon laze on the beautiful beach was cut short by strong gusts of wind rendering the erecting of their tent by our neighbours nigh on impossible. It became all hands on deck from us and the couple on the other side to eventually get the job done.

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Aramoana overlooking the bay

Day 3. Cloudy skies threatened rain although it wasn’t forecast, glad it’s not just England weather techs who get it wrong! After our bracing cold showers the long-suffering suggested a short walk up a hill overlooking our beach. Once at the start a longer 1.5 hour route presented itself ‘The North Head Trail’.

Five minutes of discussion later under my excited instigation and long-sufferings slumped shoulders we started our climb at first through open pastureland, this quickly changed to narrow paths surrounded on both sides and above our heads of dense lush native Forest. The rain arrived on cue light, gentle adding to the feeling of being in a tropical rain forest.

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Steps, steep, multiple flights, 447 in total along the route gave long-suffering much to mumble about as he sweated, red-faced, eventually stripping of his now soaked shirt. He continued to moan about how he would need another shower! And then we were out onto ridges that provided us with jaw dropping panoramic views of the harbour and coastline. The long-sufferings shoulders now visibly perked up with the diversity of the many photo opportunities my idea had afforded him.

On our return to base, it was cold showers all round before packing up and heading off……

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