Words cannot convey the scale of a view that is so stunning it is felt.The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
Northland – East and West
From Kerikeri: Doubtless Bay on the east coast for peninsula beaches, coastal walks, and climbs. West for ancient GIANT trees. Words fail…the images remain.
Coastal Spectacular – Mahinepua Peninsula
One of the most beautiful NZ walking tracks is 40 minutes north of Kerikeri. The track begins at a pā, a historic Māori defensive settlement, with 270 box steps, on the ridge track.
Climbing St. Paul’s Rock
A 600 meter climb above the town of Whangaroa (fahn-a-row-uh). The harbor is a jewel in the middle of multiple bays and beaches.
Doubtless Bay Beaches
Mangonui Cable Bay – “almost pink” sand
Mangonui Coopers Beach – golden sand, pohutukawa trees – 2.5 km stroll
Karikari Peninsula – white sandy beaches and bays. The name means “good natured, friendly and kind”.
To the West – Signal Station
Waimamaku Coastal Track to Hokianga Harbor/Tasman Sea – (rained out, but the start is crazy beautiful)
Oldest and Biggest Kauri Trees
The Kauri forests, unique to Northland, were mostly destroyed for farmland. Today the occasional stands of trees left standing by the settlers (e.g. Waipoua and Pokita Kauri Forests) are under threat from Kauri Dieback Disease, a microscopic spore in the soil that infects the shallow roots, for which there is no cure. It can be spread by a pinhead of soil. Once infected, there is no stopping the death of the tree. The only way to save kauri is to clean shoes and gear and stay off kauri roots.
It was moving to visit these giants:
- Largest known Kauri, Tane Mahuta – Lord of the Forest, 2000 yrs. Ht 169 ft; Girth 45 ft
- And his brother, Te Matua Ngahere – Father of the Forest, 1500 years. Ht 98 ft; Girth 54 ft
Gum Diggers Park
Not far from Cape Reinga are 2 ancient Kauri Forests buried by cataclysmic prehistoric events leaving globs of sticky gum in the soils and swamps.
From the 19th century Gum Diggers mined the tree gum (sap) from hand-dug gum pits that unearthed Kauri trees. Exported to make floor varnish, the pits were abandoned by the 1930s as cheaper materials were invented for making varnish.
Amber is hardened/fully fossilized Kauri gum.
NZ protects and replants Kauri by tens of thousands in the north of North Island. There are still giants amongst us. If these old souls could talk.
Previous Northland Posts
- First Peoples – Waitangi Treaty (Read Here)
- Cape Reinga – Where Spirits Soar (Read Here)
- Winterless North – Bay of Islands (Read Here)