We warned you that there would be a number of posts in quick succession and here is the next.

Rarawa was set to be our home for the next 11 nights.  Although the sun was shining on our arrival, it was rather windy and very, very wet in places.  We could not park where we were last year as it was just too wet and boggy, but we happily parked up alongside the river.

rarawa 2rarawa 3

Parked up by ourselves

rarawa 4Looking across from the van to the line of flax bushes where we parked last year.  The river mouth and sea is on the other side of the large trees in the background.

By the following day, the others had also decamped and headed  to join us.

25 We are no longer “Nigel-no-mates”


24River mouth

The heavy rain and high tides associated with the tail end of the cyclone earlier in the year has had a drastic effect on the beach at both ends.  At the camp end a large part of the sand dunes, particularly near the river entrance  similarly at the North end, there has been a considerable  amount of sand removed from the base of the dunes.  Unfortunately this damage has effectively destroyed our planting efforts last year.

Another change from last year is that there is now good cell phone reception at Rarawa, not that we really needed it as we spent most days down on the beach with Roy & Jim refining kite fishing skills and Gail & I gathering tuatuas.   One day Roy & Jim were off fishing when Gail & I went down to join them and to also gather some tuatuas, once we had our limit, Gail & I headed back to camp.  The blokes duly arrived back in time for happy hour bringing with them their catch.  


 rarawa 5rarawa 6 

A 6.5kg snapper!  The fish was filleted and shared, the head and body smoked and the resulting smoked fish eaten over the next few happy hours.  Unfortunately we forgot to take any pictures of our happy hours or the different groups of people that came and went over our stay at Rarawa.  Also undisclosed for some time was that this particularly large snapper was in fact another ‘Vannini’ fish. 

We shelled a couple of huge buckets of Tuatuas, with Bernice managing to stab herself in the hand whilst doing it.  First Aid administered, jewellery/rings removed from rapidly swelling fingers, she was good to go, setting up a Tuatua Fritter cooking  station in the awning for the hoards that turned up for happy hour that evening!

There are a number of resident shags in the river that surrounds back end of the camp.  They are  in the river estuary right up to several hundred metres from the entrance.  They have particular trees, branches and sand bars that they frequent.


Another day and Bernice took Judy & Gail into Houhora to get some essentials.  As well, they went on a bit of a Tiki Tour which included a visit to the Driftwood Moas, and a visit out to 90mile Beach out to view a potential parking place there.  Whilst there they came upon this Albatross which sat motionless on the side of the road, we presume that it was either injured or exhausted.  We let someone know who could report it and hopefully help it on its way.

rarawa 8Albatross

Time to move on again, this time into Kaitaia but not before stopping at the Houhora Farmers market where we saw this delightful stall. 

hohoura-1_thumbThe ubiquitous Lemonade stall complete with young lady selling a glass of homemade lemonade for 50c.  We presume that the stall was made by a very clever parent or Grandparent. We can attest that the lemonade was delicious as  well.


One Response to “Rarawa”

  1. Sad News | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] We first met Judy & Jim way back when we first started this motorhome lifestyle when we were in Gore and spent lovely time with them at Fortrose in the Catlins at the bottom of the South Island which you can read about here.  We have met up with them at numerous times over the ensuing years and spent some lovely time together, including our trip together to Cape Reinga and points inbetween including   Waharau Kaiaua Matai Bay Cape Reinga Rarawa Kaitaia.  […]

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