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Dream Views of Whangaroa and Tauranga Bays
Ok - now as you are already at Matauri Bay and have enjoyed the view over this beach to the Cavalli Islands, do not just drive back to SH10 but keep on driving north along the bays and Whangaroa Harbour in a loop that leads back to SH10 north of Kaeo. It will only get better and more spectacular!
In fact, I spotted a farm house overlooking Tauranga Bay of which I thought it would be exactly at the spot I would love to live. Well, let's say, in my holidays... It is really far away from everything.
From Matauri Bay you have to drive back up the hill to the "main" road. Turn right. This road leads to Wainui (nice beach and volcanic rocks), and then uphill. This stretch of the road offers the mentioned spectacular views as you are high above the sea and see all those peninsulas and islands dotted in the water, just like the sunken world of the Bay of Islands further south. the peaks along the road are called The Twelve Apostles. (You can walk up to the summit of St. Paul's Rock, 230m/30mins.)
When you are back down at sea level you drive along the fiord-like Whangaroa Harbour, with its mangroves - a good place for spotting sea and shore birds.
Shortly after the settlement of Whangaroa you reach SH10.
In this little town they have a Shipwreck Museum where you can see relics from the "Boyd" which was a ship that arrived from England in 1809 to pick up kauri spars. Maori killed several crew members who came ashore, dressed in their clothes, boarded the ship after dark and attacked the remaining crew. A barrel of gunpowder exploded and the ship burnt to the waterline.
In total this trip from/to SH10 is about 40km long. It is a detour of 30km and takes 1 to 2hrs, depending on how often and how long you stop, and the road up the hill is winding and narrow in parts. In fact, you can spend half a day there if you decide to drive down to Mahinepua and Tauranga Bay from the hill road.
- Road Trip
We visited Whangaroa Harbour again in the rain. The town is a mecca for big game fishing in New Zealand.
- Road Trip
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