Kerikeri was quite beautiful this morning. We did a little shopping on our way out. It’s actually amazing how much we have purchased this week. Is it because we are about to leave or is it that we finally are finding what we want. Either way, there is the test of trying to determine what all will fit in the luggage. This is why we brought one empty piece!
The touring today was from the east coast to the west of the Northland. Sadly, Kerikeri will be the furthest north we will go. To go further really requires two more days and we simply don’t have the days left. We crossed over to Opononi and Omapere. Kupe was the first Maori to find New Zealand on one of the war canoes we showed yesterday. This harbor is where he landed. It also is known for Opo the bottlenose dolphin who decided to live in the harbor from 1955 and 1956. They don’t know why he left the other dolphins – maybe they were calling him names like stupid. Here’s a look from just south of Omapere.
The third interesting part of harbor is the opposite side is an enormous sand dune. Yes – that is not deforested farm land. It’s a sand dune!
Not far south is the Waipora forest where the giant kauris are. The literature said giant, the sign to turn off said big. Ian our guide last night said the trees at Puteki Forest were matchsticks compared to these. He was right. Here is Tane Mahute, the Lord of the Forest. In Maori legend, Tane Mahute is the son of the sky father and earth mother. The lore is that he is the one that tore the sky from the earth which allowed life to flourish. The Maori believe that all living things are his children. He is estimated to be over 2000 years old and 13.8 meters around. The trunk is 17.7 meters tall, but the total tree is 51.5 meters tall. The volume of wood is 244.5 m3. Look closely for the people at the bottom of the tree. And here is Te Matua Ngahere, the Father of the Forest. He is 16.4 meters around with a trunk height of 10 meters, a total height of nearly 30 meters and a total wood volume of 208 m3. James in the font of Te Matua Ngahere is about 2 meters all and about 1 meter around. ;-) There’s no wood in him…. This baby of a matchstick is likely 500-1000 years old. The bark peels and a gum will ooze out. It’s quite good as a varnish and was harvested in the early 1900s. What’s amazing though is the trunk itself feels and looks like a ceramic. Our day ended at Matakohe and here is our final sunset in New Zealand. Enjoy!http://picasaweb.google.com/jjpeavey2/20100112JRP?feat=directlink