Today we go off for the next kauri-park, there is said to be the second eldest tree accessable for public [rumours say that the eldest one is kept protected from public, no-one would tell you where it stands - I really understand that].
We drive the gravel road back to SH12 [by the way also called "Kauri Coast Highway", so we weren't that wrong yesterday] and reach Waipoura Forest after about 25 kilometres, a national park with various walkways to some special kauris, significantly called "Kauri Walks". Surprise at the carpark: They have parking fees here, the site is observed. It seems that there had been some car break-ins, so they decided to guard the tourists rsp. their cars. For 2 NZD. Converted that are 1,22 EUR. Per day. What can I say?
From seven walkways we take four and visit Four Sisters as well as Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere and Yakas. VERY impressive. The biggest one has a height of 51m, the thickest a range of 16m. At
first the paths are simple to walk, bright ones straight ahead in the flat and back again. But the walk to Yakas is completely different, at once you have to walk on a narrow path up and down.
And also back again. On our way we meet other visitors, we exchange hellos and when we meet a second time we exchange a big grin and/or some words :)
We barely manage to visit all the trees we want to see before hordes of school classes come along, they descent in the forest while we get out. After a while we are hungry and walk back to Jed. We meet a couple [estimated 55+] and greet them as always and everyone - as response we get two grumpy faces and an unfriendly murmur. Probably they are Germans...
After sandwich, instant coffee and a salute to the car-park attendant we drive on along Kauri-Coast-Highway. Suddenly, at Omapere, a huge dune appears in front of us. We are at Hokianga, a delta, river, bay, no idea, but much water in any case. We drive a few kilometres alongside, then turn into eastern direction. At Waitangi we want to 'take some culture' and visit the museum which is located where once Maori Chiefs and British Crown have signed the treaty of NewZealand's foundation. Vis-à-vis the brickwork residential house of a certain James Busby stands the carved Maori meeting house, in addition they have rebuilt a maori residential area and arranged the Ceremonial War Canoe. And they have sandflies. Because we are already late [at 17.00 it is closing time] we walk through the areas rather speedy, get to see the last steps of a haka in front of the meeting house, take lots of photos of course and visit the shop at the visitor centre. Our tickets would have had validity until tomorrow because we came verifiably late [a remarkable idea!] but for us that will do for now.
Now we only have to find a campground. There are some situated here, but to us they are too big or too boring. We consult Ranker's App and opt for a ground at Aroha Island, a kind of peninsula at "Bay of Islands". This alone sounds great. Even more inviting sounds "ecological site" and "calm". We arrive at six in the evening, drive down the very small path to the reception and may choose our site. If we wanted to we could look for kiwi-birds at night, here you may watch them in the darkness. But we do not want to, first of all we have no red headlight [you need them for not getting the birds frightened] and in second we want to sleep. We are fascinated that - and how quick - we have adapted the "wake up at sunrise"-"falling asleep at sunset"-rhythm. As soon as it gets dark we can hardly keep our eyes open. Well, moreover I don't like to watch the goings-on. The other way round I would not be fond of a huge kiwi with red headlights watching me doing my shopping.
31.03.15/ Kauri Coast - bay of islands
30.03.15/ Tapu - Trounson Park
01.04.15/ Aroha Island - Spirits Bay