Wairere Boulders - basalt rocks and nikau palms
The Wairere Boulders are situated near Horeke, a small village along the Hokianga Harbour (with the oldest post office of New Zealand). The village is accessible from both Highway 1 and Highway 12 between Opononi and Kaikohe.
After our lunch in the local pub of Horeke we did take the Horeke (gravel) Road and after a couple of km's we found the car park for the boulders on McDonnell Road. We did get a lot of information from the Swiss owners about the boulders before we started our walk through the park.
We just did the Boulder Loop Track on the right and left side of the Wairere Stream. We had to climb many stairs and small bridges with stunning views on the huge basalt rocks. They are coming down the valley like a fall of rocks.
On the other side of the river is a short loop track, which leads to the so called Bush Pool. And we crossed a real big stand of Nikau Palms (New Zealands only native palm) and other native trees. Along the track are also notice boards.
The track is about 3 km's of length and we had a very pleasant and interesting walk of about 1 hour in this Nature Park.
The entrance fee was (12.2005) NZD. 10,- pp.
- Hiking and Walking
Kawakawa - remarkable toilets
The worlds most remarkable public toilets can be found in Kawakawa.
A little town situated about 15 km's from Paihia.
They are designed by Friedrich Hundertwasser, an Austrian artist who lived in Kawakawa, in 1999 and nowadays a 'must see' for Hundertwasser fans (more information about Hundertwasser: www.kunsthauswien.com).
- Arts and Culture
Mangonui - Heritage Village
Mangonui is situated on Highway 10 at Doubtless Bay, north of the Bay of Islands.
We were completely surprised by this very pleasant cute village with a lot of (for New Zealand) old wooden buildings. The best way to explore this historic village was to walk along the Heritage Trail, which did lead us along more than 20 buildings, even to a hill with splendid views over the harbour. The trail is about 3 km's long and it did take 1 hour to walk (ask for a brochure at the Visitor Information Centre, next to the old Court House).
Afterwards we had a nice cup of coffee on one of the side walk cafe's along the waterfront. Mangonui has also a couple of shops with local art and crafts.
A really nice stop on our way to/from Cape Reinga or just as a day trip from the Bay of Islands.
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
I went to Vienna in yer 2003, and saw the famous Hundertwasser onion domed houses. And also there is the Opera Toilets as well. Coming to New Zealand to Bay of Islands, you MUST really come to see this famous Austrian architect work...yes - another toilet.
Hundertwasser spent the last 20 years of his life living in the north of New Zealand in a small town called Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands.
This is a public toilet...free to use...unlike in Vienna.
Long white sandy Beach
This is not so much 'exclusive' local knowledge, but in contrast to the grey pebbley beaches of Russell and Paihea, call a taxi or walk over the fairly steep hill, in russell and follow the top rd to the left and you will make your way down to 'long beach' which is about 400m long with fine sand, good snorkelling around the rocks and quite nice for swimming - there is no shops, so you will have to bring your own food - but it is one of the nicest spots in Russell - theirs a nudist beach at the far end if thats your thing, but it gets pretty cold in winter. if you are desperate for a surf their is sometimes a bit of a wave, but this is a rarity - otherwise it really is good!
- Diving and Snorkeling
While I was walking from Paihia to Waitangi I noticed a group of people near the bridge who were gathering shellfish in the sand. It is difficult to know sometimes where you can find shellfish in the sand so I thought it might be interesting to document this observation. I am not sure what type of shellfish they are gathering but it is likely to be either pipis, cockles or tuatua. You will need to check the regulations on the daily limit per person for shellfish.
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
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