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Published: February 5th 2017
Did very little in Auckland, the road system is so confusing we got lost every time we went out. The weather wasn't great either and we were both tired. We spent all of Saturday laying around.
Monday we packed up for our last week and headed north. Of course we got lost trying to get out of Auckland! We headed up the Kauri Coast towards towards Dargaville stopping at the kauri museum. Kauris are trees that grew here in mass many years ago, they were logged almost to extinction. Some of the trees are over 2000 years old. The trees also produced sap or resin called gum that was used in linoleum in the 1900's. What they found was 2-3 dead kauri forests buried in swamp areas and gum reserves buried as well. Most of the kauri samples we saw were "swamp kauri" or kauri that was retrieved from swamp areas, some had been buried for 30,000 years and was still good. The trees are massive, at the museum there was a slab 6 feet wide and at least 20 feet long. We spent the night at Trounson forest park, walked the trail and saw many kauris. We went back
Bob was captivated
after dark as it is also a kiwi area. We think we heard a female kiwi, but we aren't sure.
Tuesday was busy, we drove north through Waipoua forest stopping to see The Four Sisters, Te Matua Ngahere, the second largest kauri and the oldest. The on to see Tane Mahuta, the largest kauri. We carried along out of the forest to Hikianga Habour, absolutely beautiful. Hung around there for a while walking up to a lookout and down to the beach. So we are up on the lookout and looking down on the beach and we see 4 penguins? So down to the beach we go.......birds, nice birds, but not penguins. Need to get our eyes checked. Then, back in the car and straight east, and south to Whangarei where we spent the night. We actually went downtown and had a sit down dinner, first one!
Up in the morning and drove through Auckland, and didn't get lost, to the Coromandel peninsula, hot water beach. Two hours on either side low tide hot water seeps up through the sand. Low tide today was at 1145 so at 0930 we hired a shovel and off we went. There
Washing our feet at the kauri forests
There is a fungus killing the trees so you have to wash your shoes going in and out of the forests
is a method, but we didn't know, we just dug. There wasn't many people when we got there however soon the beach filled. Way to much fun, 300 people mostly adults digging in the sand. One spring sprang up that was so hot a sign was put out. Seriously if you squished your feet into the sand it felt like they where burning. We spent 3 hours at the beach then back to the tent for lunch. After lunch we drove to Hahei and hiked to Cathedral Cove. Fourth-five minutes one way but was worth it, very picturesque. After a snooze on the beach (in the shade) we walked back. Will pack up tomorrow and spend our last night at Miranda Springs.
Miranda springs was nice, lovely hot pool that we took advantage of. Unfortunately our last night wasn't great, a baby cried for some time in the night and then some horrible animal was scratching at our tent. But we made it. Saturday was long, we packed then went to the springs for most of the day. About 2 we left for Auckland, gave away a bunch of stuff we couldn't bring back, returned the car and caught
the shuttle to the airport. At 8 pm we took off and 13 hours later we landed in Vancouver, and it was still Saturday!
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