|Thursday 7th May 2015
Weather report was for a cloudy day with a few showers, then rain at night. A little showery early, but decided it was worth heading for the west coast. Seemed the wrong decision a little way into the trip, but then it cleared to a nice day.
Our first stop was Wairere Boulders, chosen by John. One would say that Mavis was not too impressed with the choice as we started along the road into the boulders. After a stop to check we were on the right road (via John & Thomas), we continued on for the 12 kms, not sure what we would find. None of us expected what we found, and we were enthusiastically greeted by Rita Schaad, one very different character. Rita & Felix (my man, as she calls him) arrived from Switzerland some 28 years ago, purchased this property and did amazing engineering feats to produce what tourists enjoy today. The work took a long time, and they opened to the public 12 years ago. After a lengthy chat with Rita, we set off on the trail. Mavis was immediately impressed with John's choice (she loves rocks), and John was a very happy man. Took us an hour and a half to complete the track, amazed at the work these two have done with the property.
Moved on to Rawene for lunch at The Boatshed Cafe, as Don had read good things about this little place too. Proved to be a great choice too.
Continued on to the mouth of Hokianga Harbour, very picturesque. A short photo stop, and then a second photo shoot from the Arai Te Uru Heritage Walk before continuing to Waipoura Forest and Tane Mahuta, the 2000 year old "Lord of the Forest".
Then it was time to retrace our route for the day and head back to Paihia, a most enjoyable day.