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Published: October 11th 2012
According to the guide books and maps of the area, we knew that Rawene probably had little to offer in regards to tourist attractions. The one thing it did suggest doing however was the boardwalk around the site of the old Kauri tree sawmill and so we left the campsite ready for the walk.
Due to my navigational screw up, we were heading in the wrong direction for the walk, and so I urged Donna to turn around. When Donna had passed what I took to be several ‘perfect’ spots in order to turn around, I ever so slightly lost my temper and just told Donna to get on with it…’Turn round already will ya!!’ This prompted Donna to get a little miffed too, and a heated discussion took place.
When I noticed a steep and narrow hilly road, I told Donna just to indicate here, turn round and be done with it. Begrudgingly, Donna did as I asked. ‘Right, where should I turn then’ Donna questioned me. ‘There will do’ I replied and pointed in the direction of a downhill driveway. This was where it all went wrong. As Donna pulled into the driveway, she didn’t go far
enough down, and so when she reversed, we was at an awkward angle in the middle of the road. Panicking slightly, Donna then reversed a little more than was required and our back wheels went over a small bank and towards a ditch. Luckily Donna pulled the handbrake up quick enough and we avoided going into the ditch by centimetres! This was a bonus, however we were now stuck. Our back wheels were just spinning and churning up the grass on the ditch so we couldn’t move forward, and going backwards would have been a disaster. Several things went through my head at this moment and a few ideas sprung to mind about how to get out of this mess. One of the ideas I had was to push the thing out. This was a valid idea I thought, however with only me available to push a heavy Toyota van uphill out of a ditch, this seemed like wishful thinking at best despite my willingness to try. Just as I realised this plan could work with more people, an elderly lady hung out of her window and asked if we needed any assistance. Thinking back to my plan, I said
to the old lady that we could do with a hand pushing the van out of the ditch! Looking at me as if I was insane, she finally replied ‘I’m just an old lady and don’t think I could push you out, but I’ll call the garage down the road to tow you out if you like?’ Slightly embarrassed but relieved of the assistance, we accepted the kind ladies offer and so the local garage was called to tow us out of a pickle. Whilst waiting for the van it started to rain and the kind old lady offered us a cup of tea whilst we waited. We respectfully refused as she had already done us a huge favour and both Donna and I put this kindness and assistance down to Karma for helping the Japanese family just the other day….what goes around, comes around!
So, half an hour later a tow from the garage and $50 lighter in the wallet we were out and back on the road. We waved farewell to the guy from the garage and the kind old lady and were finally off to the forest boardwalk.
After 30 minutes of our lives that
we will never get back again, we had completed the walk and started making our way back to the van. The walk was a little disappointing to say the least, and we found the walk back to the van way more interesting as we passed several houses with more junk than a scrap metal yard with dogs living in every place possible including in cars?? (it wasn’t hot and the window was open, but still, what’s that all about!!??)
Leaving Rawene we headed towards Hokianga harbour and we were mighty glad we did. The views across the harbour and the surrounding beach were stunning and once again we couldn’t believe our eyes as to how pretty this country is.
From here we drove further South and eventually made our way into a hilly and winding forest where we had heard a 2000 year old Kauri tree (Tanemahuta – God of the forest) and a slightly smaller one (Te matua ngahere – Father of the forest) where acessable via small walks. These Kauri trees are the largest in NZ, Tanemahuta being the largest, and really were quite a sight…they were MASSIVE!!
After seeing these beast of the forest
and having a spot of lunch we pushed on towards Matakohe where we had decided to stay for the night. The drive back there was again amazing and made even better by the sun setting through the various rain clouds that had lingered throughout the day. On arrival to our campsite, we took a little wander through the sheep paddock and down to the water to see the last light of the day and was rewarded with awesome views and a fantastic sunset.
It had been quite a day and we were finally ready to get our heads down the night however not before eating what is now known to us as THE
Hottest meal we have ever eaten! It wasn’t supposed to be that way, however I got a little generous with the peri peri, chillies and hot sauce and we were soon dribbling after each mouthful desperate for a drink!!
So, as long as our stomachs would take the punishment we gave them overnight we were ready to hit Piha Beach the next day…
Northland had exceeded all expectations for us and we were now eager to check out what West Auckland had on offer.
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