Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Queens Birthday Weekend 2008
This is the last real long weekend for some time and we had decided to find our way up to Opononi for a few days. After overnighting Thursday night at Maungaturoto we passed through Dargaville.A town of early style houses and the gateway to travelling further north following the west coast.We lunched beside the Wairoa River sometimes called the upside down river as it is always very brown.Heading north to our destination took us through the picturesque Waipoua Kauri Forest.A must is a stop on the way through the Waipoua Kauri Forest.This stop is a must to visit that magnificent kauri lord of the forest, Tane Mahuta.The walk to Tane Mahuta is only some 5 minutes from the road through forest that has remained almost unchanged for thousands of years.Nothing quite prepares you for Tane Mahuta. An awesome sight, such an acient tree, 2000 years old and still growing.Read the sign.Continuing north, leaving the Waipoua Kauri Forest we eventually got our first view of the Hokianga Harbour where it meets the Tasman Sea,and looking up harbour where it reaches past Omapere, Opononi, Rawene and more.The motorcamp we stayed at in Opononi was just across the main road from the harbourand the beach where you can see the wharf in the distance.A short walk from where we were parked up was the Opononi wharf, and from the wharf you can see the local business.The local pub provided excellent coffee.After a few nights it was time to leave our park up spot at Opononi and work our way part way back home.First step on the journey home was to head to Rawene where the Rawene - Kohu Kohu ferry leaves from.Parked at the front of the ferry it was a short journey across the HokiangaPondering the ferry detailsArriving on the northern side in the rain found even the local wildlife taking some shelter.Leaving the ferry we headed for thge township of Kohu Kohu from which the ferry landing gets its name.A small town like many in New Zealand that recognises those it lost in both WW1 and WW2.From Kohu Kohu we planned to lunch at Paihia passing through Okaihau and Waimate North on the way. Of interest at Okaihau was the Fire Station museum.Where fire engines of all vintages are displayed and memorabilia from all ages and around the world are showcased.Next stop was Waimate Northand the historic church.It was an opportunity to visit the resting place of relations who were early settlers in the area.Lunch at Paihiaand after a brief stop at Kawa Kawa where the train line runs down the main streetand is the location of the famed Huddertwasser toiletThrough Whangarei our last night was at the DOC park of Uretiti BeachAn ocean beachthat stretches from Waipu in the south and north past Ruakaka to Marsden Point.Last stop on the way home was the Eutopia cafe at KaiwakaIt's well worth the stop if you have time, no make the time it's a place of interest not to be missed.What a great weekend that extended into five days.

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