Day 5: Hokianga
After yet another fabulous home cooked breakfast by Lynda and Roger (she does fruits and bread, he does eggs and bacon) we were off from Paihia towards the Hokianga region.
But first, we had some unfinished business with a certain boardwalk in a nearby forest.
On the track from Waitangi Treaty Grounds to Haruru Falls, a boardwalk is erected to let the people enjoy a mangrove first from a very special angle: from right within. As mangroves grow in shallow tidal water, an elevated pathway was created on the track.
We tried to reach it from the other side but due to time we chose to return to the start of the trail before we reached the boardwalk on an earlier attempt yesterday. Today was going to be different!
We started the day of early and got out on the track. As it was still not to late, upon reaching the boardwalk we found that we were the only people there. I can assure you a mangrove forest is really quiet and peaceful at that time if day, a truly marvellous experience.
After completing the track we set out to drive to Hokianga. More specifically to Omapere as Hokianga is a region around a bay.
This bay is dominated by a huge yellow sand dune which shields the bay from the ocean on the other side. It is quite a sight to see as the other side of the entrance to the bay is dark rock.
As this dune is just a dune, we traveled a little further along the Highway 12 towards Waipoua Forest, home of the largest Kauri tree in the country. And large it is! With a girth of over 15 metres and a total height of over 50 metres it towers over the rest of the forest. Tane Mahuta is its name: Lord of the forest.
The forest also houses the number 2 and number 7 biggest Kauri trees. A Kauri looks very much like a Baobab tree, and much less like the giant Red Sequoias in the USA. All are really big though!
Tonight we sleep in Hokianga Haven B&B, and tomorrow we set out to Drury. Back down south, passing Auckland we are leaving Northland to see the rest of the Northern Island. Downwards and onwards!