Sunday, December 31, 2006

30Dec06 Waipiro, Ruatoria, Tiki Tiki & Rangitukia

Travelling North after Tokomaru Bay passing through Waipiro Bay we came across the Waipiri Trading Company Est 1886. All through this area derelict buildings evidence a once thriving business past. Travelling on we made a small detour to the town of Ruatoria and enjoyed a coffee at a cafe that displayed all sorts of local arts. A far cry from the Ruatoria of old one might say.Not much further was the township of Tiki Tiki and the Tiki Tiki Church.
This church really has to be seen to be appreciated. It sits high on a knoll overlooking Tiki Tiki looking towards the East. When you first walk up the path towards the Church you are immediately impressed by the grounds and the exterior of the Church. On entering the Church being impressed soon changes to being somewhat awed by this beautifully restored building. It's not only a matter of restoration it's a matter of history, people and the detail that exists. A trip around East Cape is most certainly not complete without a visit to the Tiki Tiki Church, you will not be disappointed.
The Tiki Tiki Church sits on a U bend where you may continue North or take a side road out to the beach at Rangitukia. We decided to go out to the beach being reminded on the way that the East Cape is very much horse country.
Rangitukia, is the beach out from Tiki Tiki, at the entrance to the Waiapu River (to the South). Looking South towards the Waiapu River headland on the horizon you can see this massive waka sitting on a massive trailer deteriorating in the weather.
With the help of a local iwi member we managed to get permission to cross the paddocks and have a look at this impressive waka. Apparently it was built for the Millenium celebrations and has been left to literally rot here. One of the pictures shows the intricately carved ornate prow lying smashed and uncared for on the ground. It is truely impressive and very large as can be seen by Rae standing on the aircraft wheeled trailer.
The part lying on the ground in the right of the pic is the very large prow that would normally be sitting high and proud on the bow of the waka. Some of it's detail can be seen in a pic two down.
Some of the real size of this waka can be seen in this pic. It is really very very large - what a absolute tragic waste.

It's hard to understand that such a magnificent vessel that took so many man hours and giant trees to build and of such cultural value would be left to such a fate.

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