After 'brekkie' I realize my intent and really take a bath in the creek. But only to my knees.
Cripes, THAT is cold - but what else do I expect, after all the water is coming down from one of the mountains round here.
Refreshed we drive on, again at sunshine and summerly temperatures. The sky can not settle on one colour, so it goes from blue to grey to rain and back again. The quote "NewZealand - four seasons in a day" proves true, only winter stays away, yeah ;) This area is flat, aside from the vegetation we could be in Northern Germany. Behind Thames we cross the Waihou River and after another 60 km we strike SH1 again. It is much more busy than before, the street has got four lanes and there is more and more traffic. Auckland can not be far away anymore. Fortunately we have only to cross the town swiftly, we are not yet in the mood for visiting a big city nor giving away Jed. We still have some days of grace period, of course we will use them and go for the west coast today.
In fact we want to got to Whangarei first and then take SH14 to "Kauri-Coast", but we get a bit tangled by the signs at the roadside and turn left one street too early. Well, so we won't drive to Whangarai. At first we are crossing hilly ground. At Paparoa we stop for a rest and take a flat white at the "Village Café" - and some kind of fat cake. While eating we notice: This consists mainly of butter and sugar, umph. That's a bit too intense. But the coffee is great and so is the waitress [did I mention that always and everywhere - with one exception within four weeks - we were treated amicably? It's so amazing here!].
Some kilometres further the landscape is suddenly flat again, the hills are far away. We drive a bit along Wairoa River which flows into Tasman Sea here. Wow, this landscape is really flat and
green - almost homelike... Then it is changing again into "steppe with ridge", the street steps up slowly until we finally reach the top. Green meadows at the right, the entrance to Trounson Park
Campground at the left. This is a DoC-campground where you get little luxury for little money which you put into a wodden metal box. Behind the campground Trounson Kauri Park is located, at last
we can see these famous trees, the oldest and highest trees in NewZealand.
At the park-entrance we have to disinfect our shoes. Some day someone has introduced some asian germs which may kill the trees. The kauri are shallow root trees and thus rather vulnerable. I do not have to mention that it is not allowed to leave the trails, do I? With freshly cleaned shoes we set out for the park. And stand rooted to the ground: What giants! 7,5m to first branch, 3,5m of diameter, aged about 1.200 years - wow. Well, we have some similarly old trees in Germany too but not a whole park. And this is only one of several parks. It is hard to imagine that a third of NewZealand was covered with kauri. Then people have discovered how to use wood and after building boats, houses etc. there is not much left over.
30.03.15/ coromandel - Northland
29.03.15/ Maketu - Tapu
31.03.15/ Trounson Park - Aroha Island