800 years old
Started off from Auckland with the Stray bus company and headed up North to Whangarei the first stop we headed to was a Kauri Tree area the Kauri trees are protected trees and are only able to be used for timber if they are felled naturally or are reclaimed from mangroves.
These are considered to be a spiritual tree and will protect you on dry land if you give it a hug so we did; the other trees we saw were the Maori trees of love and death.
If a Maori couple stand under the tree of love which is called this means that they are said to be together forever and standing underneath the tree declares this bond.
The other tree of death is a very intimidating tree for the Maori people and as Halo our tour guide said that he has seen Maori men who are not the smallest blokes I have seen, even want to look at this tree and will stay away from going near this tree.
We then went to two bird sanctuaries and saw the famous Kiwi bird which is an endangered species in this country and has been in decline
We got to touch
ever since European settlers had introduced mammals into the country. There were no native mammals except the bat in the country and with the introduction of various animals like ferrets stoats and other mammals. This caused major problem for native animals and caused a huge problem for the Kiwi bird. I am told that we were very lucky to have touched a Kiwi.
After Whangarei we proceeded on to Paihia to stay at the Pipi hostel which if you are passing through here I can only say I guess there are better places than this very small and cramped rooms.
The following day I went to a dive shop to enquire about diving the Rainbow Warrior but because of conditions it was pissing it down and not nice what so ever there was no guarantee that they would dive the wreck regardless until they went out there so rather than risk it I decided not to dive in NZ, Will I regret it maybe but I doubt it.
So Kat and I headed up to the Waitangi treaty grounds this is considered the birth place of modern New Zealand and the historic events of 1840 took place
here when Captain W. Hobson arrived on behalf of the British Government to make a treaty with the Maori people. There is still some debate today as to the interpretation of the treaty in both languages but it is important as it was then and it guarantees the rights of Maori and non-Maori citizens of New Zealand.
Also here is the Maori Waka (Canoe) it is 35m long and is carved out of 3 Kauri trees a minimum of 76 paddlers are required to handle it safely on the water. It was designed and launched in 1940 as part of the centenary celebrations and is used yearly on 6th February to commemrate the treaty signing.
The following day did a nice walk of Paihia and the surrounding area then headed back to Auckland as time is not on my side in NZ.
This is the part where it all gets a bit random but very cool, So I got back to Auckland and had to do the important things first, check my e mail. All the usual suspects had e mailed me DORE see you soon, Omar stop playing the PS2, Anyway I had a mail from
Louise who I had met with her friends Claire, Kate and Emma in Cairns. I went and found her she told me she was going on the Kiwi experience on Tuesday so I told her I would meet her in the morning.
I go downstairs in the morning and I am chatting away to the travel office passing some time before I meet Louise and in walks this girl who is unsure of what she is doing and how to get around, She explains that she is going to the North and South Island but I am welcome to come along in the car as long as I want paying half the fare as I go. Cool I say so where were you thinking of going today “Hobbiton” she says, I am sold so I thought I better go and see Louise and tell her my plans have changed, she is asleep and all I could do was leave her a note so sorry Louise.
So after the introductions are actually done Siobhan and me get our rental car and start heading off to Hobbiton or Matamata.
The trip to Hobbiton is getting its own page!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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