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NEW ZEALAND, North Island,
Keri Keri, 12-14 Feb 2013

Northlands including KeriKeri, Cape Reinga, Whatuwhiwhi & Mangonui

New Zealand, Northlands 12-14 feb 2013 kerikeri, cape reinga, mangonui, 90 mile beach, car stuck in the sand with tide coming in oh dear!, apihara, whatuwhiwhi, covering amongst others 174 selective slideshow images, long beach outside russell, cape reinga, okiato, opua, car ferry, paihia, haruru, haruru falls, waitangi, waitangi river, rainbow falls, Christ church Russell alledgedly the oldest in NZ , waipekakoura river, million dollar view, kumara, whangaroa, woodland walk, stone store, st james church 1868, kerikeri basin & woodland walks, Kemp mission house, cavalli islands, matuari bay, st paul's rock, marlin hotel, blue marlin, doubtless bay, mill bay suites where we stayed 2007, Pak N' Save supermarkets, endless fruit, wine and veg especially kumara in Northlands, karikari peninsular, parakerake beach and bay, waipapakauri, mitimiti stream, te kao, state highway 1, sheep, kiwi parks and top 10 camp sites, st. james church grounds kerikeri where annie's edmonds rellies are buried, awanui, kaitaia, brancott estate wines, bbqs, karikari coastline, John Edmond's house ruins off Edmonds road is a New Zealand National trust heritage building and rightly so, the true work of a great stonemason. We were previously in this area in 2007 and then again in 2017.

beyond the lighthouse cape reinga, created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog
12 feb 13
13 feb 13
14 feb 13

Tuesday February 12th 2013

Summary Russell to Kerikeri

Woke at 7.35 a.m. had showers then breakfast. Posted 3 postcards and then visited the church in Russell, allegedly the oldest in New Zealand. It was a hot sunny day again. We then drove through the town to see long beach a little sandy bay. We then drove to the car ferry catching it at okaito to opua, cost $18.50 which is about £9.50 pounds, saving a massive journey around to get to Paihia, foolishly we didn’t do it in 2017 and Chris slowly punctured his tyre on the gravel roads manufacturing itself fully near Cape Reinga.   

Paihia, we had gone on a boat trip back in 2007 with Craig & Doug to see the dolphins. We gave it a miss this time around. We then went to the Waitangi treaty grounds (1840) and Haruru Falls (meaning in Māori unlimited water). We arrived at the campsite in KeriKeri at 12.20 just after noon. It is a small town with lots of fruit and wine farms and spin off shops.

We walked about a mile through the shops to St. James church where some of Annie’s Edmonds relatives were buried.  We then walked to the Stone Store and paid $10 for a guided tour of Kemp House (mission) next door, and an upstairs exhibition about the mission and the history of Māori in the far north, all very interesting.

John Edmonds born 1799 in Swanage, Dorset, England died Kerikeri 1865, was a stone mason who emigrated with his family to work for the Church missionary society in Kerikeri. He was Anne’s 2nd cousin 4 times removed as witness by our family tree, a man to be rightly proud of. The lady who did our guided tour around Kemp house for just the two of us was very chatty. Anne found records about John Edmonds but as it was 5 p.m. and the Stone Store was closing the kind shop staff said we could return tomorrow with the same tickets to continue our genealogical research, think really, they found it quite interesting to have visitors from the UK who had a link to this Stone Store and Kemp house.

We chatted to Kawi, a Māori lady who worked at the stone store shop who told us she had 2 aunts who had married Edmonds. She was very smiley and helpful. She told us there had been an Edmonds reunion in Kerikeri the last year, which was a huge gathering from far and wide, plus there were still Edmonds families living in Kerikeri. Another kind Kiwi lady gave us a lift back up the hill in her car. We had dinner at 7.15 p.m., a busy but fruitful day with lots of history about both New Zealand and the Bay of Islands area, great fun.

Wednesday February 13th 2013

Summary Kerikeri to Whatuwhiwhi (pronounced Fatufifi not as you might expect what you wee wee which always makes me laugh ha-ha)

After breakfast we went again to the Stone Store as Anne wanted to look at some books there about John Edmonds. We took lots of photos.

We then drove along the inlet road to Edmonds Road to the old ruins of the Edmonds family dwelling. Acres of land with black basalt dry stone walling, perfect for a stone mason. The house was a ruin, no roof, windows or doors but the walls and chimney were still standing. It is now registered as NZ National Trust as a heritage building. We saw old peach and fig trees near the house which was quite large for the time. It took 18 years to build in stages adding extensions. We then returned to town to see the other side of the water looking back at the stone store, wonderful views.

We did not go into the Māori village as very touristy reconstruction and besides we had seen a more realistic one at Rotorua back in 2008. We spoke to an old NZ couple from Hamilton. We then visited Rainbow falls which is 27 meters high. We bought 4 avocados from a house on the inlet road for $2 a bargain. Fruit & veg and wine is grown all around Kerikeri. We then bought some vegetables and 2 steak and cheese pies from a local grocer. We then set off for Matuari Bay along the coastal scenic road and stopped for lunch as a viewpoint called million dollar view which was true, with fab view of Matuari Bay, the whole coastline and the Cavalli islands, just superb.

At Whangaroa we drove 2kilometres further to the harbour, it is the Marlin fishing capital of NZ. We weren’t disappointed as some guys had just brought in 2 huge Marlin on a boat. One weighted 165 kg apparently took 2 hours to reel in and the other was large as well. The largest caught there was 195 kg, see the pictures to get an understanding of what a whopper these fish are. We understandably took lots of photos, what a privilege to have witnessed it.

We then drove through Mangonui on a nostalgia trip re snapping the Mill Bay suites for old times sake. We then turned up the KariKari peninsular to Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 campsite arriving at 6 p.m. This was an expensive site costly $45 but in a fabulous position right on the beach. We walked on the beach and paddled in the sea. K cooked garlic prawns and coconut rice. It was 26 degrees Centigrade today.

Thursday February 14th 2013

Summary Whatuwhiwhi to Ahipara via the top end 90-mile beach and Cape Reinga. 24 degrees centigrade.

Anne got up at 7.30 a.m. and did some washing in the laundry. After breakfast we drove back down the KariKari peninsular and then took the route to Cape Reinga. We stopped at Waipapakauri beach to see 90-mile beach which is designated a road by NZ authorities, 4-wheel drive cars only of course. We saw an ordinary car stuck fast in deep sand by a kiwi drive, not a tourist. The beach is 64 miles long. We returned to the main road and continued north through farmland, mainly cattle as sheep no longer profitable. It was lovely scenery mostly coast and sand dunes. Another hot and sunny day but with sea breezes to cool you.

We arrived at Cape Reinga and parked the motorhome and walked down the sloping zig-zag pathway to the lighthouse. Māori legend says this place is where the dead spirits depart and is therefore sacred to them. Also, the Tasman meets the Pacific here. We could not see any whales despite looking. We had lunch in our van, such great views. Anne got melted tar on her sandal it was that hot. We returned down the same route on State Highway 1 and stopped at a pack n save supermarket for groceries. The guy’s car stuck in the sand was now encircled by water, poor chap but maybe should have read the warning signs first.

There are lots of Māori’s in this far north area, we tried not to stare at some of the Māori ladies with their faces heavily tattooed as that is disrespectful to their culture, but it was hard as to us anyhow so unusual.

Found a Kiwi Park campsite at Ahipara (we joined this campsite chain as well) which is at the south end of 90-mile beach. Anne did the laundry, Keef did a lovely barbeque of steak, sausages, salad and grilled kumara (sweet potato) chips on the camp BBQ. We sat at a huge kauri table and bench , beautiful wood, to eat it and washed it down with a lovely kiwi Brancott estate sav blanc. We chatted to a retired couple from Rotorua. Tomorrow we are heading down towards Dargaville via the kauri forests.

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