Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hokianga - 2

After the Mangungu Mission we visited the Wairere Boulders.  A Swiss Couple bought the property which was covered in gorse in 1983 and, as the gorse was cleared, they discovered the boulders.  It is fascinating and the boulders are basalt which is not usually known to have fluting as it is too hard.  see here

There is one main walk and two additional smaller walks. We did them all and it took about two hours.  In some places one climbed over rocks, in others squeezed between two rocks and others ducked into low holes.

                                              We had to go through here


see here

Friday, October 25, 2013


On Tuesday we went to the Hokianga for a couple of nights staying at the Copthorne in Omapere.  We went the long way around as we wanted to go to some attractions in the Horeke area.

The first was the Mangungu Mission House.  It is still on winter hours so we were unable to go inside  but the view of the upper reaches of the Hokianga Harbour are magnificient.

We set off on a lovely spring morning.

The photo below is of Lake Omapere. with a farm pond in the foreground.

The next two photos are of the Harbour (at low tide) taken from beside the Horeke Tavern

Photos taken from the Mangungu Mission House.  Its history is interesting as it was shipped down to Auckland and much later shipped back up again. see here

The lovely cat that greeted us there.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


After our trip on the train we returned to Whangarei via  Ruapekapeka Pa which was the site of the last battle in the north 1845-6. see here

 This tree was so large I had to take a photo of it's base and then the top.

and home to Kamo.  Kawakawa is just a leisurely 45 minute drive from home and we had both driven past many times but had a really enjoyable day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The shop front below was also designed by Frederick Hundertwasser.  Not as famous as Hundertwasser House in Vienna but a lot of tourists visit Kawakawa to see his toilets and the shop which sells his calendars and other works.

I have always liked trains and wanted to go on the one that runs through the main street here.  After we saw the train go through town we decided to go to the Station and see when the next train departed.  It was leaving in 10 minutes so I went back to the car and got our lunch and we caught the train.  It is known as the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway and originally carried coal to Opua.  Now it only runs for half the distance but we thoroughly enjoyed our trip.  The Guard gave a full commentary as we went along.

Below an old orchard from when the coal mines were in this area.

The circular field below was used as a race track.

We went as far as this bridge which is considered to be the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly one of the few left in the world which is still being used.  The history of the train is here

The train is run completely by volunteers and they are currently rebuilding the steam engine Gabriel see here.  It is hoped to have Gabriel back on the tracks before Christmas and to also have the full length of track operational by then going all the way to Opua.