Northland

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This page is about the rest of my trip around the Northland region of New Zealand.

images/nl-02-map.jpgMy friend Jenni and I took a trip around the New Zealand Northland via the Twin Coast Route - shown in red on the map opposite.

We began in Auckland, taking State Highway One, north towards Whangarei (the biggest city in Northland). We turned left at Brynderwyn, onto State Highway 12, towards New Zealand's 'Kauri Coast'.

We passed through Ruawai, a town where two rivers meet. In Māori, 'rua' means two, and 'wai' means water. 

Towards Dargaville - at the heart of the Kauri Coast.

Dargaville grew initially as a timber town, but today farming has become the main industry. The dairying industry in particular has brought further prosperity to the rural hinterland of approximately 17,000 people, throughout the past century.

This once important river port thrived on the export of kauri timber and kauri gum (the sticky resin of the kauri tree) and the rich loamy soils of the surrounding countryside, enjoying a sub-tropical climate.

As the kauri forests were decimated, Dargaville declined for a time, but today it has become a busy service centre for the horticultural and agricultural Northern Wairoa area. 

There are a number of 19th century buildings reflecting the town's history. Boutique type shops and cafes now flourish in some of these historic buildings, linking the old with the new.

images/nl-03-kumara.gifOne of Dargaville's major claims to fame is its being New Zealand's 'Kumara Capital', producing two thirds of New Zealand's kumara (sweet potato) crop. 

 

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After leaving the Waipoua Kauri Forest, we passed the tiny settlements of:

Waimamaku - made famous in the past by its world famous cheeses. It is also the home of New Zealand's smallest brewery.

Waiotemarama - with its Labyrinth Woodworks and Maze, and the fabulous Waiotemarama Waterfall.

 

images/nl-04-rd1.jpgOut past Waiotemarama, towards Kaikai Beach.

This sits at the end of a river estuary - a superb approach to a most beautiful piece of coastline.

 

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Despite being a somewhat windy day, the beach looked lovely.

 

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And it was... 

With the tide coming in, crisp breeze cooling the warmth of the late afternoon sun, we walked barefoot in the golden sands and paddled in the sea, barely a soul in sight.

 

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Some good shells were also to be found!

Here's a few of my favourites...

 

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Out back along the estuary track, and onto State Highway 12, north again.

 

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Towards Pakia Hill (from Māori - Paki = fine-weather), from where splendid views of Hokianga harbour can be seen.

 

 

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Hokianga Harbour

In the dying embers of the day, it was time to drive down into Omapere (seen to the right of the above picture), for freshly caught fish and chips for supper, before the long drive home!

 

 

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This page last updated 06/07/2003 02:11:44 AM

 

All materials on this site J.M.Wilson 2001-3, unless otherwise stated.

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