Archive for the ‘Whangaruru’ Category


December 20, 2013


After leaving Whangaruru North we made our way further south to Whananaki or more precisely Otamure Bay.  Another DOC camp right on the beach.  We parked up and then wandered down to the beach to have a look.  Typical long sandy beach with rocky islets at he south end and a rocky coast to the north. 

43 parked38 beach

Spotted between the rocks to the south was this sailing yacht.

39 sailing

Unfortunately even in the more remote areas of New Zealand we are faced with water quality problems!!!

41 not so clean

Joining Whananaki and Whananaki South is this footbridge.  Primarily for the convenience of school children coming to Whananaki to the local school.  The shot of the bridge is taken from the Whananaki side

47 bridge42 bridge

In the centre of the bridge there is a rise in the level to allow small boats to pass underneath.  The water under the bridge is not very deep under the bridge in calm condition and at low tide one can watch locals wading back and forth.   The wider view here is from the Whananaki South side

44 bridge45 bridge

At the south end of the bridge in a sheltered bay there was this area where a large number of Mangrove seeds had washed up.  The area was probably 10 metres in length thickly coated in seeds,

46 mangrove seeds

One afternoon was spent walking a track that led from Otamure Bay to the next bay Tauwhara.  There was quite a step climb up some 80 plus steps to the top of the ridge and then an immediate drop down to a lovely long bay.

50 steps49 beach

Part  way along the beach a Pohutukawa was sprawling out of the shore onto the beach.  So for those that may be far away here are a couple of close ups of the flowers.  Pohutakawa are known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree and it is not even Xmas yet!!  So perhaps a long hot summer is in store.

51 pohutukawa52 pohutukawa

Further along there was this area, accessible through a property on the road, where one could park and stay. 

53 Camping

Between Tauwhara Bay and the next bay, Maureses Bay, there is a step ridge running out to sea.  Climbing this gives a view of Maureeses Bay and points further north and further still to the islands off Mimiwhangata.  Whilst looking back one sees the spread of Tauwhara Bay,

55 bay57 bay

And at last captured a photo of a Tui gleaning nectar from the flax flowers.

56 tui

Kerikeri to Whangaruru North

December 20, 2013


From Kaitaia we made our way to Kerikeri for a two night stopover.  We took the opportunity, on the second day, to take a trip around from Kaeo through Tauranga Bay and Matauri Bay back to Kerikeri.

Tauranga Bay has an enclosed bay with islands across the northern end of the bay and a headland to the southwest.   There is a Motor Camp right on the beach where they have what looks like reasonable winter rates so maybe we will spend some time there next winter.

2 Tauranga Bay3 Tauranga Bay

An interesting approach has been taken to providing steps down to the beach.  In a lot of places that we have been to steps to the beach have either washed out from the base, been washed away around the edges or fallen apart.  here thy have come up with an ingenious solution.  Rather than having a fixed set of rigid steps they have literally chained together a series of half rounds and laid them form top to bottom.  The advantage is that it can be re-laid on top of the sand, if buried,  by simply pulling it out to the surface again.   If it is undermined or washed out it will conform to the new surface simply under the effect of gravity.

5 steps6 steps

On the road between Tauranga Bay and Matauri Bay there were some very good views of the islands off the coast.

7 islands

Wainui Bay is another small bay with attractive sandy beach. 

8 just another bay

View  down into Matauri Bay from the road above.

9 matauri bay10 matauri bay

Above the Bay at the right end is the memorial to the Rainbow Warrior which was eventually deliberately sunk to form a reef off the coast.   The beach itself is beautiful and at this time of year almost empty.

11 memorial12 Matauri Bay

And back to Kerikeri where Stuart Park, a cousin of Roy’s joined us for a drink.  As his background has been latterly as the head of Historic Places in the North, he provided an evenings entertainment telling Pat and Sue and ourselves a lot of historic stories of the North.  We will catch up with Stuart in the new year to extend our joint knowledge of the Vannini genealogy.

So off to Whangaruru North via Paihia and Opua.

We did not see the falls but we did see the sign!!

13 somewhere

And when we got to Paihia we were presented with the sight of two large cruise liners anchored off shore.  The result being crowded roads, lots of people wandering the roads and looking the wrong way to cross the road.

15 cruise liners14 paihia

Then on to Opua where we boarded the ferry to cross over to the Russell side at Okiato.  Interesting experience.  It was quite unnerving to be in the drivers seat and seemingly driving across water. 

16 ferry17  ferry

Then onto the road to Whangaruru, rather narrow in places!!

18 narrow

At the end of the road, down a somewhat steep final 500 metres we arrived at Whnagaruru North.  A bay on the Harbour side of the peninsular right on the end of it.  The camp is at the base of a high land connected by a very low lying strip of land to the rest of the peninsular.   Bland Bay is on the right facing the Ocean and the harbour is on the right, with the slimmest of land spurs between the two.

29 Bland bay

This is the view from above the bay.  Note that both of us are parked on the road within the rear of the camp.  They had had a large amount of rain within days of our arrival and as a consequence the whole camp area was a little soft.  After Pat had sunk to the rims in trying to access  campsite it was decided that we should stick to the road and so we stayed.  There were no others that needed or wanted to park at the back of the camp so it worked well for all.

24 camp27 camp

On the beach, just above (or more precisely right on) the high water mark was this Pied Oyster Catcher sitting on a nest right in front of the camp within five metres of the nearest Campervan.

19 nesting21 nesting

On a walk around the rocks the tenacity of Pohutukawa was amply demonstrated by this one.  It was originally on the right hand headland growing quite well.  At some time it has fallen/slid down the cliff and come to rest leaning across to the rock.   It has now put down roots into the rock and is flourishing.   The other one was putting on a show of flowers right next to us in the camp.

22 Split rock23 pohtukawa

Oh and it is Sunday again and another brunch, this time sausage patties, bacon and eggs on ciabatta rolls, and of course bubbles.

30 brunch31 brunch

Two days after we arrived so did the Oyster Catcher chicks.  Two small balls of fluff carefully chaperoned by their parents who made it very clear should anybody get too close.

32 chick34 chicks

And left in the nest was a third egg which was either infertile or had not  hatched and was effectively abandoned.

33 egg

Margaret and John also appeared on the scene after having completed a brief trip to Cape Reinga and return.  John has a Port-a-Bote packed under their motorhome and out it came for a fishing trip in the Harbour. 

So three men in a boat on their way to catch dinner .

36 three men in a boat

Thar she blows!!

37 thar she blows

However I would have to report that it was a case  of wet bums and no fish, as there was a good shower of rain while were out.