Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lord of the forest

Day 5: Rawene to Hamilton

Breakfast at the Boatshed Cafe was the perfect way to start a day of driving. We had taken the last few days to drive up the north along the coast on the east side and now we are coming back down all that distance in one day on the west side.

Soaking up vitamin D, listening to the water below while jotting down my thoughts. Wish every morning could start like this while waiting for breakfast.

Our one big splurge was to buy breakfast every morning but one.

It was difficult to sit in the car on a day as beautiful as today.

The call of the wild won us over more than once. It's amazing how one breath of fresh air excites and lightens the mind.

Exploring little streams that make their own grand baby waterfall, up the Waiotemarama Gorge.

Matt took pictures of these tree fern fronds every day. This one is from this day.

Follow the glittering water, you will not be let down.Waiotemarama Falls.

We kept passing the sweetest looking cows. Matt pulled over so I could enjoy their pleasant company. Boy, am I glad I did. They were so eager to chat and mingle. They all came running to me.

Matt ended up getting out of the car to join this party. I was wishing I had a treat to share. Next time I will not come empty-handed.

We found a windy green peninsula surrounded by a turquoise sea at Arai-Te-Uru in Omapere.

Just sky, sea and life at the Hokianga Harbour.

Pebble trails......

to run on....

and be free.

Everyone talks about all the sheep in NZ, but what about the cows?

Had to check this out. The Labyrinth Woodworks. Jarom's favorite thing to do is to make mazes.

At the top of these stairs was a wild peacock that they were nursing back to health. This place was just filled to the brim with homemade wooden puzzles and tricks. The couple who owns it also works here and have of course been to artist/creative central in CA - Nevada City. Crazy how when you are away from home, a piece of home always finds you.

Stopped in the Waipoua Forest, the largest remaining stand of kauri trees. Can't help but want to believe and be swept away into their magical tale of Father Sky and Mother Earth being torn apart by their son Tane (lord of the forest), to bring light, space and air and to allow life to flourish.

Matt and Tane Muhata - the life-giver. Tane is also the largest kauri tree, and the largest tree in NZ.

Hang around long enough and you just might become gigantic and be able to hug him as I did.

See what fresh air can do for a person!

Me and fatty (Te Matua Ngahere) the second largest kauri.

The Four Sisters. Kauri don't usually grow together like this, that's why they're unique. I have four sisters on the Beatty side so I couldn't help but name them - Adie, Heather, Emily and me. Aren't we lovely?

After driving hours on end through forest and neverending winding coastline we made it to a big city, Hamilton. We arrived just in time for dinner, which doesn't matter when you're in the big city since nothing closes early. HA, just our luck.

Hamilton is home to the only temple in NZ. We got here at 9:59 pm, took this picture, went to take another and boom, the lights all turned off and we were locked inside the parking lot. Thank goodness for motion-detecting gates. We then drove another hour (to Raglan, where we wanted to stay), felt like a lifetime in the dark and after driving all day. All was dark but for the moon in the sky and the one waving back from the glossy black sea. I fell asleep watching that moon tirelessly wave back to himself. Everything was closed up or booked in Raglan, a small surfing town, so we had to drive that hour back to Hamilton at midnight and got a cheap motel after much searching to find the only place open (by waking up the owner inside). Something we take for granted in the states is being able to get any motel in the middle of the night.
--- ---

 -- more NZ 2010 --
Pre-trip preparation
Day 1: Auckland
Day 2: Orewa to Paihia
Day 3: Paihia to Kaitaia
Day 4: Ninety Mile Beach to Rawene
Day 5: Rawene to Hamilton
Day 6: Hamilton to National Park
Day 7: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Day 8: Taupo to Rotorua
Day 9: Rotorua
Day 10: Thames to Hahei
Day 11: Coromandel


moonshinejunkyard said...

i cannot express how beautiful these photos are to me. I LOVE BEING ONE OF THE FOUR SISTERS! those kauri trees are so majestic and serene.

i am going to all the links, reading and pondering and imagining. your blog posts about this have been such a wonderful journey for me right here in my chair (tho i really do want to actually GO someday!)

i love that the maori people still refer to Hokianga as "the nest of the northern people" or "the wellspring of moonlight" !!! those folks have some serious magical inclinations. the story of Tane was fascinating and haunting, classic mythological destruction/creation. i love it. i can imagine what it was like there from your gorgeous pictures and words, being in the midst of those enchanted trees and on the pebbly paths and friendly cows. A WONDROUS WORLD!!!

mooncowboy said...

amen sister. I propose a big Beatty family NZ trip sometime where we rent two campervans and take at least and month just explore explore explore!