Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Forum rules
Each member may post travel stories to their own thread. You may comment on others' threads but do not take them over with your own stories. Please try to ensure these stories are entertaining and snappy. You may include a FEW pics to illustrate your story. Please don't use this as a platform for your photo albums: they are best put in (say) Picasa with a link.
User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:33 pm

600
We parked at a house at Rawhiti beach the night before we headed off on the Cape Brett Walkway and were able to leave Rosie there while on the track. Left at 8.00am in drizzle, which lifted by midday. The track goes over 7 "peaks" between Rawhiti and the Cape so we knew all about climbing and descending. It was quite a tough walk: 16.5 kms of up and down with not much of the track benched. We were advised it would take between 6.5 and 8 hours and we cut it out in 6. Yeah! We had met a couple of girls coming out the previous day who had taken 9 hours. The views in the morning were non-existent: 1 because we were in regenerating native bush all the way and 2. whenever we did get our heads out of the bush, it was raining!
Image
The afternoon brought more interesting views of steep rocky shores with big beakers. We were pretty pleased to finally get to look down on the lighthouse (1909) and further down to one of the original lighthouse-keeper houses, now converted to the DOC hut. The combination worked :D !
Image
We were the only ones there until a pommy couple joined us about 6pm. We watched the sun go down and while sitting there saw a pod of dolphins go past. One of them leapt clean out of the water and landed on it's back. A few tourist (Hole in the Rock) boats came in and paused in our bay while they were given a run down on the lighthouse. (There was a community of 78 living there at the height of things in WWII and they even had a school with 13 children).
Image
The water situation at the hut was dire because of the drought. We had carried in almost 5 litres with us - but when you are not allowed it, it just makes you thirstier. We filled a couple of bottles of brackish water out of one of the tanks and boiled it up and drank it warm! Tasted awful too.

Fine day for our return trip and we did a detour to Deep Water Cove for a swim on the way back. Very refreshing. Better views of the Bay of Islands on the way back. 6 1/2 hours WITH the swim. Had a blob afternoon, unpacking, having a beer (Kath too! - and she neverdrinks beer), a swim and a shower.
Image

I had wanted to do an overnight kayak around the islands in the Bay of Islands - but it all was getting too hard what with Cape Brett and having to book ahead on-line and no coverage and a dodgey-sounding forecast....so we satisfied ourselves the next day with a 5 hour kayak out to Urupukapuka and another smaller one and then exploring some of the bays on the mainland.
Image
It's a real shame that DOC don't allow casual (ie non-booked) camping on these islands. The campsites we saw were all empty apart from one with one tent erected - we would have gladly stashed the tent, sleeping and cooking gear in the kayaks and stopped a night if that had been allowed. The weather was kind to us and we found a secluded beach for a swim and dawdled past a billionaire's waterfront house nestled in a wee cove with trucked-in sand and rocks etc. Fabulous - but WE enjoyed it too :) . We wondered what our rights would have been if we'd pulled up for lunch on his beach :? Saw a beach near Rawhiti, with mature Radiata between the beach and the road, where it looked as if you could park overnight.

We had been focusing so much on the Cape Brett walk that we had let some other things slip. We did not realise that our next shop was about 4 days away, further down the coast - and we would run out of food, water and diesel if we didn't back-track to Russell. :(

So we headed back and spent our 3rd only night in a camping ground just outside of Russell. We had loooong hot showers that night and the next morning, watched the news on TV did the laundry and felt almost civilised again! And went shopping in the morning.
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen

User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:41 am

647
Travelled south to a DOC camping ground at Whangaruru North - a harbour. This was our first ever DOC camping ground - as distinct from camp site. The micro-management that was in place did not agree with us at all, being given a numbered site to park on and you had to remain at least 1.5m from the boundary line of your special plot. There were 237 pieces of paper plastered on the manager's office with the "rules". A bit over the top for so late in the season, we thought.
Image
Did a 1 hour walk with 489 steps along the way (how sad is that? - counting them!!). Didn't like the vibe of the "Manager" and so moved on first thing around to the other side of the harbour where Kathy wanted to do some fishing.

We found a boat ramp at Whangaroa wharf, launched the kayaks and headed down harbour (into the wind) for about 300 m where we let the lines over. Kathy was still getting sorted when I hooked a fish. A big kahawai: biggest fish I have ever caught (which isn't saying much) - the little telescopic rod Kathy gave me at Christmas was bent double, with the tip below the level of the handle (and trying to pull the kayak over!!) Man it fought, very exciting. Quite a struggle to wind it in. My converted tennis racquet landing net proved equal to the task as was the trusty fishing knife we had purchased at Kaitaia. A beauty.
Image

In the meantime Kathy had hooked one that had immediately just broken her line. I gave her my rod to carry on with while I started to make up another trace for her rod. I tied onto a pile in the harbour while doing so. Within a couple of minutes there was a cry "I've got one ..... Oh - the reel's jammed .... Come and help.....B&$@%$ - it's got off" So I stop coming to help (ie untying the kayak from the pile). We were faced away from each other - me streaming out in the wind from the pile and Kath having been turned by the fish, and couldn't see each other .... "Oh it's still on - where are you?.....Oh - it's still jammed - it's going to get off - hurry up!!"

When I got there we reeled it in by turning the spool on the little threadline reel by hand - the Kathmandu kit NOT proving equal to the task. So - two big Kahawai (mine was the bigger!) within half an hour. Local guy on shore at the boat ramp was most impressed by what we landed with "toy rods". The reeI was haddit - with parts of the inside of it trying to get out through the casing causing it to bulge in odd places. Showed Kathy how to fillet - but her heart is not in it to the extent that it is to the actual fishing. Had one fillet for lunch.
Image

Moved on to a small sub-bay of Helena Bay called Teal Bay which we learnt about on the forum before we left home. Neat spot and good surf. We are stopped in a reserve for the night celebrating being in Whangarei District - where we can stay up to 3 night's anywhere unless there is a specific NO Campervans sign. :)
Image

Both did some boogie boarding this afternoon - having bought a more serious model in Kerikeri a few days ago (Kahawai for dinner - and more left for lunch tomorrow).

From Teal Bay we drove to Whananaki North and a DOC camping ground at Otamure. It was very windy and the surf was huge and we watched a few people trying to take a sit-on kayak out through the surf. Not much for us to do in those conditions so headed on to Whananaki South. We did a long walk on the beach and photographed some amazing patterns in the sand but the weather was still no good for swimming so carried on to Sandy Bay where we stopped on a reserve right on the beach.
Image

A car got beached trying to turn around and Rosie was enlisted to pull them out. Another MH couple there gave us a margarine container of (shelled) tuatuas (and tried to enlist us in the "NudeVanners" club - unsuccessfully!)

I knew that one of my ex colleagues, from CFK, lived either at Sandy Bay or at his farm nearby. I had sent him an email a few days earlier saying we were coming through but hadn't heard from him, so assumed he was away. I asked a local (old) surfie if he knew of anyone of that name living there. He didn't, but came back down half an hour later to report that he had looked them up in the telephone book and that they lived just over the top of the hill to the south (now that is service! :) )

Next morning we decided to call in to verify that they were, indeed, away only to find Pagey sitting at his computer replying to my email saying to call in and see them. They had been away at the farm for a few days and had just got back. So, we spent the rest of the day with them and that night. Great hosts.

When we were last at Sandy Bay was at a CFK AGM at Tutukaka - about 25 years ago. It was 3 weeks before one of the Fletcher marathons that both of us did and so, while the rest of the group went out to the Poor Knights diving etc Kath and I incurred a deal of displeasure by doing the regulation (according to most marathon schedules) 3 hour run, north from Tutukaka to and beyond Sandy Bay (It was the right thing to do as we both ran our fastest times around 3hr 12m for the marathon).

Next day we drove towards Whanagarei and then back out to the coast at Pataua North and found super spot right on the estuary under some Pohutukawa. I did a kayak up the estuary and river (20km or so) while Kath recovered from the late night at our friends' place!
Image

There was a school group learning various outdoor skills including snorkelling around some rocks - but there are not enough hours in the day to do it all (on the right tide).
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen

User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:09 pm

699
Next day (Tuesday) was AWNING day. We arrived at Recreational Concepts in Whangarei only to be told by the manager that AMI had claimed not to have received the photos I had sent (in the same email I had cc'ed to him - and he had got them) After a couple more phone-calls from him they finally approved the work and we left Rosie with him while we did a bike and then walk to fill in the time. Up through bush on a marked walkway and then along the top of a ridge. Then we encountered recent logging, and all traces of track markers, or even where the track may have used to go, were obliterated. We ended up coming back out to civilisation through a quarry several kms away from where we should have. Good job we are fitter than average! Returned to find the new awning fitted. As we were turning out of the Recreational Concepts road onto SH1 we heard something fall off the roof. After a hazardous "U" turn on the main road we retrieved an air powered mastic gun and returned it to them :oops:

By then it was getting on so we headed out and meandered around the bays on the north side of Whangarei harbour towards Whangarei Heads. We found another neat spot under pohutukawas at McLeod Bay. No boy racer problems here either.
Image

Wednesday we drove on to Urquhart Bay where we climbed up some seriously steep and dramatically rocky mountains - involving some basic rock-climbing (do something every day that scares you!) giving fantastic views around the harbour.
Image Image
We also walked over to a remote white sandy beach called Smugglers Bay where we had a swim. And then on to Ocean Beach. Oh Joy! We had missed out on sand-boarding at Te Paki (90 mile beach) because of timing so it was great to see a big sand-hill at one end of the beach. We spent the whole afternoon both sand-boarding and boogie boarding in big powerful waves. The water is still very warm.

On our way back into town yesterday we stopped at Onerahi and biked a trail that we had done 8 years ago when we were last up here. It was only about 10kms return along an old railway embankment opposite Port Whangarei. Then we headed a bit north to see the Abbey caves. We equipped ourselves with 3 torches and explored two of the caves for about 45 mins. This is the furthest that either of us had been underground (apart from Waitomo and Manapouri West Arm, which are both guided) - the second "thing that scares us" for the day!

Most of the rest of the day was spent "provisioning" both Rosie and us, in Whangarei. We stayed at Uretiti Beach last night and will spend tonight here as well. It is a DOC camping ground with white sand but we have a strong off-shore wind so not much good for fishing or playing in the surf. It's not as "regimented" as the last one: there are no numbered sites :) We might do a long walk (or bike) along the beach (averting our eyes as we pass the naturist part of the beach, just south of where we are.)

Kathy tells me we'll be home in three weeks - I'm sure she said that a week ago, which has had my timing all mucked up for the past week! Where has the last 7 weeks gone :shock:

We DID do a bike along Uretiti beach down as far south as Waipu river and north as far as Ruakaka river. It was about 26km on hard sand (and no hills - although there was a bit of a head wind on the way north)

We got shouted at as we were leaving our 1/2 bread-bag of rubbish in the bins as we left. Still not sure what that was about - the DOC caretakers seem to be a different breed.

We drove inland to inspect the Waipu Caves. Left the carpark equipped with several torches and old (and wettable) clothes and followed the orange markers (as we have become used to doing on DOC walks). It was quite a sunny morning (great choice of activity on a sunny day, don't you think?) and there were some nice views as the track climbed up the side of the valley onto a ridge. After half an hour we both thought that this was a rather long walk in to the caves - and also thought it was strange to be looking for a cave entrance on a ridge-top. We reluctantly concluded that we had missed the sign to the caves - possibly because the sign was in the shade and we were looking into the sun. Retracing our steps and looking back regularly for the "missing" sign we finally found it 50m from the car-park (in the shade). So headed in to the cave and first stood for several minutes to let our eyes adjust (despite having torches - it does make a big difference). A massive entry chamber and then down a stream where the walls and roof converged until we were stooping as we made our way further in. After 50m or so there was quite a deep pool and I went ahead to see if it was worthwhile going further. I was following a ledge around one side of the pool and the roof was only 700mm high. I was sort of squatting and waddling along like that when THWANG! My back goes in a BIG way. I'm on a 300mm ledge in 10-20 mm of water and a pool of indeterminate depth just off to my left, my head grazing the roof and my back has gone AND I'm not sure if my torch is waterproof. Bother! Managed to turn around and crawl back to Kath (about 15m) keeping my torch in my uphill hand. She had no idea what had happened and thought (from a small amount of cursing she could hear) that I may have got stuck. I was able, with Kath's assistance, to stand and made my way gingerly back out the last 50m or so. We have often discussed which of our activities would be the first to be crossed off the list: well caving has been well and truly crossed off mine: and it wasn't really ON it to begin with :o Kathy drove back down the windy gravel road and on to Waipu with me lying on the floor in the back. Regular stretches and lots of walking has seen it improve steadily over the last few days. But it still has a way to go.

Drove on south through Waipu and then to Waipu cove where we walked back up the beach towards the river and back. There was a carpark near the south end of town but lots of donuts so decided to carry on and ended up at Langs beach (where there was a wedding taking place on the beach). Didn't manage to score any free bubbles but had a good walk anyway! Stayed there two nights and did some gentle swimming (there was no surf to speak of) and walked around the surrounding hills and oooh'ed and aaah'ed about the multi-million dollar houses. Walked on the rocks around a couple of points to the south of the bay towards Mangawhai.

If anyone has any questions at all about places we stayed or things we did - just fire away :)
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen

User avatar
Vamooshe
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 548
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:46 am
NZMCA No: 38736
Location: Hamurana, Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Vamooshe » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:11 pm

Some people are besotted with Coronation Street, Shortland Street, ITM Fishing Show or Outrageous Fortune.

Not me, I'm hooked on this! ;)

Well done Mark! More please......

Greg
Greg & Dzjamilla
1970 Bedford VAM 9.5m - "Vamooshe"

User avatar
The Bzz
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:07 pm
NZMCA No: 39024
Location: Just up the road or in your rear view mirror

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby The Bzz » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:07 am

Well done Mark, we have just returned home from a week overseas and spent the last day or so (off and on) catching up with your journey. As I mentioned earlier this is the trip we want to do so now I will have to go back through your story and pick out the good and bad, thanks again and well done.
7 M Traillite
Colin & Robyn
NZMCA Members

User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:17 pm

Yesterday drove on the Mangawhai Heads and did a 3 hour walk along Mangawhai cliffs and back along the rocky coast. It's part of the Te Araroa walkway. Great track, wide well benched and good gradients - just the thing for rehabilitating backs! - and fantastic views.
Image Image
A few others walking it too. The carpark at the heads is notable in that it has pictures of motorhomes WITHOUT diagonal red lines through them!! There are toilets too. So we stayed the night there - and will tonight as well.

Today we thought of going fishing in the harbour but we really needed to be doing it leading up to and just past high tide (otherwise we get swept out over the bar. We have no anchors, and just drift.) That would have meant getting up a bit early for one of us. We drove south to Mangawhai forest on the coast and rode through the forest, onto the beach and then north back to the Mangawhai south head, which is a large bird sanctuary.

The sand got a bit soft for biking at that point and so we walked for another 2km or so back round the harbour side of the head. On the way back we climbed up a massive sand-hill. It was so steep that we created sand avalanches as we climbed up the last bit. I did some (sand) body surfing on the way back down. Did about 20km in total.
Image Image

Kath headed off just before 5pm saying (I'm just going to see how far out that rock causeway I can get) - on an incoming tide. I stopped in the bus and caught up on some emails. At 5.30 she was not back (I expected her to be maybe 20mins and was getting particularly anxious as it was way past time for her G&T fix ;) ). Had visions of her, having got out to the island, finding that the incoming tide had cut her off. Couldn't see her anywhere along the causeway and no-one I asked could remember seeing her. Decided that I really should investigate and so walked out as far as the tide would allow: No Kath in sight. As I was starting to think of what clothes she was wearing so I could tell the police, she appeared back up on shore waving merrily. "Sorry, I got talking to a local".

Will probably try the fishing tomorrow.

Apologies if these reports are just a recitation of activities. I find by the evening I have run out of much energy to add any sparkle to them. Can't believe I'm this far behind. It's been 7 days.

Well, yes, we did try fishing in the morning, but it was an ill-advised activity and totally unproductive. Not that I know much about fishing, but I had thought that the harbour looked to be too shallow (and sandy) and it was pretty windy and kept blowing us across the channel. Gave it up after an hour and set about replenishing supplies (a bit expensive at the local 4 Square). Tried to refill with water at the local GAS station but would not let us - even though prepared to pay (so didn't buy diesel there.) We headed back to the Mangawhai Heads motor camp to buy some water but the proprietor said "Just help yourself!" So we did, very gratefully.

On to Mangawhai village to see if their hot cross bun prices were any cheaper - they were - and fill with diesel. (I notice this is the first mention of Hot Cross buns but I have been watching for and purchasing any that I see for the past couple of weeks. Have yet to find any that really spin my wheels)

Drove to Te Arai point and found about 5 other motorhomes already there (one (La Buena Vida?) we had signed up to the forum at Vinegar Hill last year!) and about 100 surfies. The swell was pumping in and the word had gone out. They were arriving constantly and at about 7pm there were 35 out on boards. One had left New Plymouth that morning at 3.00am having read about it on the internet! We had a lot of fun on the boogie boards.
Image

In the morning we did a walk over the point to the south and part way along the beach by a southern part of Managwhai forest. The walk was not a great success as we were trying to follow non-existant markers along the Te Araroa walkway.
Image
There were more surfers along that beach as well. We came back and had a swim in an old quarry at sea level where the swells were surging in and out of a narrow gap in the rocks and you got successively sucked out and then blown back in. Great fun! You can see the quarry in this pic that I've borrowed from Neddy's post in "Good Places North of Auckland" Image

The surf deteriorated as the day went on - the waves got too steep and dangerous - and the surfer crowds melted away as fast as they had arrived. I had some exhilarating runs on the boogie board - just hanging on for dear life - until I also realised a little discretion was called for and withdrew.

Next day were going to ride north through the forest up to where we had walked south from Mangawhai Heads. After 10 minutes of pushing bikes through soft sand (caused by frequent useof the track by horses) Kath announced that if it wasn't rideable within another 5 she was heading back. Which she did and decided (despite it being close to high tide) that she would run it. I carried on and found firm surfaces in another 3 mins (Murphy is alive and well in Mangawhai forest). The layout of the forest roads, however, was not as I expected as there was a river running diagonally through and I went in a circle (Oi! There's been another MTB in here recently. Oh - It's me!! :oops: ) before crossing some farmland and a ford and finding a way back out to the beach where I saw Kath not far away. We parted again and met at our previous turn-around point. She beat me back as I took another creative way home. While riding through a paddock of tallish grass my front wheel dropped into a drain exactly the diameter of my wheel and stopped dead. I didn't :o Good ride though.

That afternoon there was just us and another small van there and we decided to stay a third night (first time this trip). Woke to the sound of many car doors slamming and found that we were surrounded by dozens of cars with more pouring in all the time. We thought that the surf must be up again and I had to go and ask a couple of people to leave a way out for us. One of them explained it was a junior surfing champs. Outa here!

Sometime in those 3 days we also walked a long way south to the mouth of a river near Pakiri and came across a fantastic house built in the shape of sand-dunes on the edge of the forest and dunes.
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen

User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:03 pm

827

Drove south to Pakiri where we had a quick look at heaps of people enjoying a day at the beach (we discovered it was Saturday :) ). And then on to Goat Island, which is a marine reserve. I had a short snorkel there, but the water is now getting colder, there were not many fish and the water was not very clear. I guess "the Pacific islands" spoil you for snorkelling in NZ. We weren't moved on (No Campervans) and in the morning I did a kayak and Kath went out in a glass-bottomed boat (income they wouldn't have had if we'd heeded the signs). There were a few neat caves around the back of the island and still quite a big swell running from the Fiji cyclone, so it was good fun. I also paddled most of the way back up to Pakiri.
Image

Then (Monday) on to Leigh to re-provision and a stay at Mathesons Bay. A beautiful small reserve where motorhomes were welcomed and they locked us in at night for security. (But not until after a scare when 4 mini-van loads of Yoof pulled in (complete with trailers of gear) When I enquired if they were staying I was re-assured they were just stopping for a break in their journey!) Next day decided to try our luck fishing again on the far side of a close off-shore island. I got a snag and lost my trace and so filled in time by paddling back around to Leigh. Crystal clear water. Kathy caught lunch, a 27.001cm snapper. We both had a swim in the afternoon and then moved on to Omaha Beach with a diversion on the way to Ti Point where we did an hour's walk around the coast. Omaha did not appeal to us: it has been designed from the ground up as a "Resort" - with street names like "Success Court" and "Prosperity Drive" (Yeuch!) and million dollar houses - but all seeming to look quite tatty and run-down, like an expensive slum.
Image

Parked last night there and walked the length of the beach and back this morning before moving on to where we are now, Buckelton Beach, another free reserve on the other side of the harbour from Warkworth. Grass, sand, Pohutukawas and lots of Tuis (and one kookaburra - TRUE!).

Called in to replenish seriously depleted Gin and hot cross bun supplies at Matakana. Very expensive little town. Gin was OK but the buns were the most expensive and least tasty yet. Had a very nice lunch at Morris and James pottery place. Resisted the temptation to buy one of their beautiful wall hanging things (We've only bought RUC's for 4.5 tonnes!) On to Buckelton beach. It was low tide in the morning so we did a walk around the rocks to the next bay to the east, Baddeleys Beach and back: about an hour. There is another reserve there where we could have overnighted. And then on to another ARC park, Tawharanui, a mixture of farm and forest cover. We did a 2 hour bike ride over some pretty steep farm tracks with great views back over the coastline that we have been following for the last week.
Image
In the afternoon we did an hour walk to the north coast beaches. It was very rough and we had some rain showers so ran part of the way back to the bus. It cost us $10 to park in a grassy car-park overnight and we were able to fill up with fresh water too.

While filling up I noticed that one of the front tyres was down to the metal cords on the outside of the tyre. Looks like the steering alignment is seriously out. So did my first tyre change (after looking up on the forum the rule-of-thumb for left and right-hand threads (Loosen to the back, no matter what side you're on) Grant, I think) Only just managed to budge the two tightest nuts. Did the nuts up on the spare as tight as I could by supporting the outside of the brace with blocks of wood and jumping on the 2ft bar as hard as I could. (Next day, when we called in to Firestone in Warkworth to get them torqued up properly (probably only travelled 15km or so) two of the nuts could be finger-tightened. The guy told me the correct torque is 300ft pounds. Did some rough calcs and it sounds as it my weight on a 2 ft bar should be about right - I'll work it out properly at home: I might have to put on a few pounds to get it just right!)

Next morning we did a "Mystery walk" where they give you directions but no map. Thought it would be a good exercise for Kath. Started off OK while we were on reasonably well defined tracks but it all turned to custard a bit when they sent us off up a bit of a dodgy gully, overgrown with suplejack. We were supposed to confirm we were still on track by finding numbered pictures of birds. We eventually got there but never did find two of the birds. The last part we had to follow a rope strung through the bush. Wasn't made easier by the bush being wet having rained overnight.Image

Headed back to Warkworth to replenish my depleted stocks of Hot x Buns (these ones are the best yet by a long shot - and not expensive: Korean bakery at the north end of the main street) and Kathy booked a trip to Kawau island in the morning. Thence to Snells Beach where we parked in a car-park on the beach. (We are in Rodney District which is great as they allow self-contained campers to stay in any public reserve for (I think) 2 nights: all reserves seem to have clean toilets and rubbish bins that are cleared every day (I know I heard then doing so early on a Sunday morning. Isn't that a refreshing approach compared to some councils?) Did the diesel, gas, water thing in the morning and dropped Kath at Sandspit for her cruise. Saw a bus with the name "Adventure before Dementia", a bus that has been mentioned on the forum. A bus of the same name had passed us on the road just north of Kaitaia but when we tracked down the owners, we found that there must be two buses with the same name, as they had not been that far north. This couple was from Dunedin.

I headed back to Snells Beach, did a ride from one end to the other and back again, had an early lunch and then headed out in the kayak for an explore of the estuary up from Sandspit. It was blowing a gale and pretty low tide: I had to drag the kayak about 200m to the water :shock: . I trolled a lure in case there were any Kahawai about but not the right tide. I did disturb a large stingray in the shallows of the harbour - the tips of it's wings beating the water to either side of the kayak as I glided straight over it :o :shock: :o Be still my heart! It was a real battle coming back, but at least the tide meant I could paddle back closer to the bus. Next challenge was to get the kayak up by myself. Third time lucky (or I wouldn't have done it at all - had left my strength out on the water, beating back into the wind). The ferry was a bit late getting back so I was in plenty of time to pick Kath up. She had a great time looking through Mansion house and walking over some tracks on the island.
Image
Drove down to Scotts Landing at the bottom of the Mahurangi peninsular. Just a car park at the end of the road - but it was almost chokka. There must be heaps of people out fishing I thought. Then we saw this very elegantly dressed young woman tottering across the shingle towards a car. Wow! They dress well for fishing in these parts!! Tuns out there was a wedding in progress at the old Scott homestead. Eventually all the cars (and a 50 seater bus-load) of guests left and it was just us.
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen

User avatar
Mark
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 8438
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:58 pm
NZMCA No: 29132
Location: Rotorua

Re: Mark and Kathy's Northland Trip

Postby Mark » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:10 pm

Addenda

There's quite a lot, when I think about it, that I've left out.
A couple of omissions that I must remedy:

Best fudge - on the road south out of Kerikeri, on the right. Was so delicious that we ended up cutting it into smaller and smaller pieces to try to eke out the treats for another couple of days. Highly recommended - much better value, we thought, than the nearby chocolate place.

Best doughnut (of the automotive type). A perfect circle, half way across the big Kerikeri Stone Store by-pass bridge: the bridge must be 25m above the river. Not a lot of room for error - our Omapere girl would be well advised not to try this!
Mark
I ache in the places where I used to play - Leonard Cohen


Return to “Travel Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest