Well I decided that the weather looked a bit crappy so I packed up and headed back into Whangarei. Had an interesting time trying to find the dump station #602. Couldn't find hide nor hair of it! So headed into the one at the Caltex on Lower Tawera Road, then had to ask where the dump station was. Turn out that the ice truck was in front of it! So had to wait about 15 mins while he unloaded umpteen bags of ice, filled out the paperwork and then went and delivered the paperwork and headed off! So that done, I headed back up to my sister’s and decided that I would stay the night and then head over to Dargaville and see what was brewing over there. When I arrived Gary was the only one home as Val and Lorna had headed off to see another sister (yup have loads of them…some spare if anyone wants a couple). They arrived back as I was doing a water fill and Val decided that as the weather was now fantastic, we should head out to the beach for the afternoon. So we gathered up the nephew, his wife and kids and headed out to Ngunguru for the afternoon. Had an awesome time digging huge holes in the sand and swimming in the lovely warmish water. The fish and chips were pretty damn good too, to end a lovely afternoon.
So headed back and had a rather early night after all that sun, salt air and exercise!
In the morning I headed out in the rain towards Dargaville and the place where I spent the first 6 years of my life.
I stopped at one of the most iconic places for me and took some photos.
I am not sure why the Tangitaroria Bridge has such significance for me but it is a huge landmark for me. Whether it is a halfway mark between Whangarei and Dargaville or what I don’t know. Still here are the pics.
From there I headed into Dargaville and parked behind where my father had his plumbing shop and took some photos of the current building and the Northern Wairoa River. Still the ugliest, dirtiest upside down river in New Zealand!
|Site where AJ Church had his plumbing shop|
|Northern Wairoa River at Dargaville|
|Northern Wairoa River looking towards Te Kopuru|
From there I went to see my ‘other sister’ and her husband. They were not relations but have been close family friends for ever it seems. I caught up on all the gossip and going ons in their life. Their eldest son arrived just before I left so had a chat with him as well.
After a lovely cup of coffee, Christmas cake and bickies, I headed off across the Norther Wairoa River towards Tokatoka Rock to climb to the top.
As my grandfather had been the engineer on the original bridge across the river its always interesting to cross here.
|New bridge across the Northern Wairoa River|
I had forgotten just how steep and short the climb was. But the view from the top was well worth it! Awesome view up and down the river.
|Tokatoka Rock from the other side|
|Track up Tokatoka Rock|
|Final stretch to the top|
|Looking back towards Dargaville|
|The Fredrock Cafe at the base of the rock|
So from there it was into town, vist the bank to get some cash for the campsite and headed up towards Kai Iwi Lakes. It is interesting that I had never been there before despite all the friends, relatives etc that spent time there. So I was looking forward to it.
On the way I dropped onto Baylys Beach to have a look see. Dropped down onto the beach, turned around and headed back. The weather was pretty foul and the beach wasn’t pleasant at all. So headed back out to the main road and headed up to the lakes.
The main lake is far bigger than I had imagined and it was a beautiful sight as I came over the hill. I really must mount a camera on the dash with a remote for taking pics.
So I headed in to the lake and paid and found a spot amongst the hundreds of campers. Must admit that campervans have an advantage as they are allowed to park in the day area right on the front of the beach.. yippee.
|View from my window|
|Campsite at Lake Taharoa|
The rain was on and off and coming across the lake so not all that pleasant for a while but it eventually cleared up.
Met up with a young couple flying a huge kite that was a sled type and he asked me if I wanted to have a go, 20 mins I was still flying it! Awesome fun, we talked about getting one for the kayak. Would pull me well in the kayak as I was having problems keeping my feet when the kite was in full go mode!
So at that point I decided that some washing was in order, so out came the ‘washing machine’ and the clothes line. I had numerous offers to do other peoples washing and one guy was fascinated by the wringer as he had never seen one before!
After that I thought that a trip around the lake was in order, so I unloaded the kayak and headed off around the lake. I kept close to the shore away from the water skiers and jet ski riders and after about an hour had circumnavigated the larger of the lakes Lake Taharoa.
A quiet night was had and in the morning I headed out after a leisurely start to the day and made my way north towards Trounson Kauri Park to see in the New Year.