Thursday, October 06, 2005

Far North Travelogue - Day Six

Thursday morning saw us starting the slow homeward journey, so we packed up at the Pukenui Holiday Park and headed south to Awanui, where we visited a kauri museum/showroom and took the inevitable photo of the girls next to Paikia (of The Whale Rider fame), ...
 - 6 October
... and then east towards the Bay of Islands. Our next stop was at the beautiful, sheltered Maitai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula. It's actually two bays, separated by a tiny mini-peninsular along which you can walk and get some great views, and from where I took this shot of Gill and two of the girls on the beach of the south-eastern of the bays. Another place which would be wonderful to spend some time at in the summer, but I'm sure the DOC campground is once again full to the brim in January.
Gill and girls, Maitai Bay, Karikari Peninsula - 6 October
Louise found a dead penguin, Hannah chased several oystercatchers, and Camilla investigated the rock overhangs.
Camilla, Maitai Bay, Karikari Peninsula - 6 October
From there we headed down and around the broad sweep of Doubtless Bay to the historic town of Mangonui (quite a different place from Mt Maunganui near Tauranga!). After a spell where Gill had to remove large numbers of very fine prickles from all the girls' feet - probably acquired in a rock cave at Maitai Bay - we walked around the interesting town on the Mangonui Heritage Trail. Hannah investigated the shingle beach left by the outgoing tide.
Hannah, Mangonui Harbour, Far North - 6 October
I got this shot of a stained glass window in St Andrew's Anglican Church at the top of the hill, without actually going inside.
Stained glass window,  - 6 October
After the walk it was almost lunch time, so we stopped in for fish and chips on the harbourfront ...
Fish and chips, Mangonui, Far North - 6 October
... after the obligatory joke photo!
Louise and her catch of the day, Mangonui - 6 October
From there we carried on eastwards, stopping wherever it looked interesting, such as this quiet backwater near Totara North (have no idea whether a Totara South even exists) ...
Cottage with horse and boat, near Totara North - 6 October
... the huge cabbage trees (ti kouka) at Tauranga Bay (yes, another Tauranga - not nearly as nice as ours, though) ...
Cabbage trees on the way to Tauranga Bay, Northland - 6 October
... another sheltered cove at Matauri Bay, where we stopped for a second picnic lunch - camembert & crackers ...
The tiny settlement at Matauri Bay, Northland - 6 October
... with very coarse, dark sand, almost like shingle, but much prettier and easier to walk on.
Dark sand beach, Matauri Bay - 6 October
We then pressed on to Taupo Bay, where we found a pleasant, completely deserted holiday park which suited us for the night. We had our pick of the cabins, unpacked our suitcases and sleeping bags, and went for a walk on the beach, and investigated the rock pools ...
Camilla investigating rock pools, Taupo Bay, Northland - 6 October
Rock pools, Taupo Bay, Northland - 6 October
... before a light rain shower drove us back to our cabin for the evening.

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