Around the Cape

Dawn over Tokomaru Bay, heavy sigh, as it is time to move on around the Cape. But what a wonderful stay we have enjoyed here with a lovely beach, stunning skies and an ever changing parade of people, animals and bird life.

dawn 2Dawn

We had noticed that our gas supplies were running low and as we have a built-in gas cylinder, we need to be able to find a garage that supplies full LPG services and as we were to discover, in this neck of the woods it is an almost impossible task.The gas runs our fridge and freezer as well as cooking and heating.Although we can always cook on a small butane camping stove we have on board or the BBQ with its separate gas bottle, heating is not required at this stage but it necessary for the fridge/freezer.  We headed off through Te Puia Springs and on to Ruatoria, however no luck at either place for LPG.  So on we pressed but first a quick stop at Tikitiki to view St. Mary’s church. 

The church is non-denominational but has historic links to the Anglican Church. It was built from 1924 to 1926 under the guidance of Sir Apirana Ngata to remember the Ngati Porou soldiers who fought and died in WWI.   The church, which integrates Maori architecture into its design, contains references to the fallen soldiers within its extensive carvings, tukutuku (traditional patterned latticework) and stained glass windows.  

memorialChurch glimpsed through the memorial gates to Lady Ngata


 memorial 2bell tower

Memorial outside church to Sir Apirana and the small bell tower


roof 3The extensively panel lined interior, including the ceilings

stained glass 1Stained glass window above the altar


lectern 2The lectern, heavily carved with detail at all levels down to the figures holding the piece up.

lectern detail 3lectern base

Every window has a different pattern in the stained glass

window 1window detail 1window detail 2window detail 3

There is a large memorial board for all of the local and tribal casualties in both world wars.  

memorial records 

Each of the pews is carved with a different character on each.    

 pew end 2 pew end

Both these doors are at the rear of the church one on each side of the area containing the font.

door 2side door 

fontThe carved font.

We continued on our journey heading to Te Araroa where we would probably spend the night.  However, no LPG available here either so hopefully the gas will continue running through to tomorrow.

north te araroaeast te araroa

North Te Araroa                          Looking toward the East

Te Araroa is the birthplace of Sir Apirana Ngata (1874-1950) who was a member of parliament for 38 years.  We found a POP to stay over for the night, parked the van, unhitched the RAV and headed out to have a look at the East Cape Lighthouse 20kms from Te Araroa.  Although a reasonable portion of the road is sealed, there is some “interesting” sections of gravel road.

flat stone   Flat rocks along the shoreline

lighthouse from afar 2The Lighthouse seen from the carpark at the bottom of the steps leading up to it.

We duly arrived at the parking area for the walk to the light house and set off on the climb. After going through the farm gate we came across an old farm building with this sign.

steps 2sign

Then came the steps, 729 all told.  Onward and upwards we went, round the half way mark, the steps become steeper with a higher rise which made it even more difficult for the knee disabled member of the party.  Roy went on ahead whilst Bernice carried on slowly before deciding that this was just too painful to continue and turned around and started the slow decent (it also started to rain). 

stepseastape 3

Steps                                           and more steps

lighthouse 1lighthouse 3

Roy continued on to the top, and here are the pics to prove it.

islandeast cape 1

View from the cape to island     And the sign

Back down the base and back to the car park.  Along the way this Moa nest was spotted.  However  it turned out to be a roll of fence wire that had been overgrown after having been left in the paddock for some years.

moa nestold hut

Back to Te Araroa and by now the tide had gone out a reasonable way exposing these rocks

stonetulip rock

Not entirely dissimilar to Moeraki Boulders.  Perhaps these should be called East Cape tulips.

Back in Te Araroa and a visit to the school grounds where there is a Pohutakawa Tree reputed to be the oldest and largest of its kind in New Zealand.  The tree is estimated to be over 350 years old, over 20 metres tall and 40 metres wide.  

 pohutukawa 1 pohutukawa 2

pohutukawa 4  

Details of the Pohutukawa

And finally “Worlds Deadliest Roads” eat your heart out.  This is part of the road out to the lighthouse.



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