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November 5th 2009
Published: November 5th 2009
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         Trevor             Scrub Cutter         Trevor             Scrub Cutter Trevor Scrub Cutter

On the road to Mimiwhangata, I chatted to Trevor who works for the Webb Brothers, owners of several very large blocks of land in the area. One of Trevor's workmates had been cutting out ragwort and Trevor had come to collect the tools, but he was having difficulty finding them. Later I met one of the brothers, Jack Webb, who was herding stock and told me to get out of the way while a bull,"a real wild one", came down the road. I did as I was told, and sure enough a handsome, sleek black bull came prancing along and passed us by.
The search for a real latte ended in failure. But the day was not ruined. By late afternoon I reached a stunning DoC campground at a place called Mimiwhangata. The last few kilometres were along a gravel road with a steep climb and final descent.

Best Kept Secret

Mimiwhangata has to be one of the best kept secrets. It's a beautiful, sheltered spot with bush and farmland behind it. The campsite is a five minute walk from the carpark, up, over and down a steep path. And the facilities are limited, just toilets and cold water.
The main beach is a perfect, long curve. The campsite is at a much smaller bay, with a few trees for shade and a lovely outlook. When I stayed in early November, I was the only person.

Hell on Two Wheels

The climb back out of Mimiwhangata on the bike was horrible, slipping and sliding on a gravel road. I had numerous near accidents and eventually the inevitable happened. But I wasn't hurt.
After 64 kilometres of mainly back roads I reached Whangarei. And there I had a latte and a slab of carrot cake.

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Tough FarmingTough Farming
Tough Farming

Three generations of the Webb family have farmed in the area. It's hilly, broken country and requires a lot of manual labour to keep the scrub under control.
At MimiwhangataAt Mimiwhangata
At Mimiwhangata

Bike maintenance. Every day I clean and oil the chain - the only routine maintenance I do on the Beast of Burden.

Could this be the perfect campsite for those wanting to get away from it all? But access isn't easy, and facilities amount to toilets and a couple of cold taps. It's recommended campers boil their water.

This picture of the camping area was taken from the top of the little track that links the campsite with the carpark, a five minute walk but made difficult for those carrying tents. I took the bike and had to make three trips.
Gravel RashGravel Rash
Gravel Rash

Someone had done the right thing and dumped vast amounts of gravel on the road. But it hadn't had time and traffic enough to spread out evenly. For a cyclist it was difficult keeping things under control.
The Inevitable HappensThe Inevitable Happens
The Inevitable Happens

Out of control downhill. The bike slid away on me, but fortunately I hit the ground running and wasn't hurt. The bike got a good kicking though, and there was a certain amount of bad language in the air.
A Latte at Last!A Latte at Last!
A Latte at Last!

It had to wait to Whangarei, but when it arrived it was a goodie. And there was carrot cake.

5th November 2009

Dad - Mimiwhangata looks absolutely beautiful, how lucky you are to have the chance to discover these places. Can't wait to see you at Mangawhai tomorrow! xoxo
5th November 2009

road rash
You did well Mike. That kind of road must have been frightening on the downhills to say the least. I hope you don't have to come across that again. Well done on reaching Whangarei in one piece. Enjoy your short rest before the last stages of your return. See you soon.
5th November 2009

Travel Writing
Mike, me thinks you're discovering your next career .. as a travel writer. You're a natural, ... with pen and picture. At the end of the road back in latte lovin' Ponsonby, will you rip the script out of this blog and publish hard copy?
8th November 2009

Hi Kevin, thanks for your kind words. I must say I'm enjoying doing the blog. I Knew I'd be hopeless at doing a journal/diary but with my small but select readership I feel a sense of responsibility to do the blog. And it will indeed provide me with a record of the trip which I can keep. cheers, Mike aka 'Feral Mike'
9th November 2009

Homesick ...
Hi Mike, just to confirm that you're being read at least as far away as Hong Kong so please keep up the blog! The only problem is that your descriptions and photos are making me VERY homesick!! Yes, I'd love to chill at Mimiwhangata!! Have fun on the next leg, Melanie xx
9th November 2009

Hi Melanie, it's nice to know you're out there. Hey, thank u very much for the Oxfam donation. I've been intending to get an email address for you from J, so I could thank you personally. In the meantime, here's a very public thanks! Yeah, Mimiwhangata is a great spot. love, Feral Mike
16th November 2009

Thanks for having me - the beer and fish n chips hit the spot.

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