Day 6: To Waipoua Forest and Matakana

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Today we drove across the north island to the west coast and stopped at Opononi for an ice cream! Opononi was named after a dolphin called Opo who used to play in the harbour. Across from Opononi harbour are these huge sandbanks (shown above), and small boats were taking visitors there to play!

Next we drove south down the west coast and through Waipoua Forest, and pulled off to take a look at a huge kauri tree (Tane Mahuta; 51.5 metres tall). These kauri trees are native to New Zealand, and were a huge challenge for the settlers who had to clear the forests before they could start farming. At the moment, these trees are threatened by some kind of infection, so you will frequently see signs advising you to wash your shoes etc before travelling through the forests.

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At Ruawai, we turned back inland and eastwards towards Warkworth then up to Matakana and the beautiful Takatu Lodge with its associated vineyard.

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Today we had arranged to meet an old friend who took us to the beautiful beaches at Tawharanui Peninsula. Despite the blue skies, I’m told the sea was rather cold!

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Day 7: Matakana to Auckland »

© Helen Gray 2021