Northland, New Zealand
Waitangi is adjoined to Paihia and this is where the controversial treaty between the Maori people and the representatives of Queen Victoria's goverment was signed in 1840. There is quite a lot to see here, like the largest Maori war waka (canoe) in the world, a Marae, and the house where the treaty was signed.
From the Waitangi reserve you have a great view of both Russel and Paihia in the distance as well as from Kororareka Bay. It is also a great place to sunbath if you have the time and if the sun is shining of course!
Along the road from Auckland there is lovely, green, undulating scenery, but with cattle (I expected sheep), some of which had had their tails cropped in childhood. I've never seen that before.
Waitangi is the site of the historic signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Treaty House was built in 1832 as the home of the British resident James Busby. This is where the Treaty between the Maoris and the representatives from the British government was signed on 6th February 1840. The house has now been preserved as a memorial and a museum.
The Whare Runanga (traditional Maori meeting house) and marae (grassed are in front) form the basis of Maori culture and society. It is held as a symbol of tribal prestige and a monument to the tribe's notable ancestors: the apex is his head, the ridgepole his backbone, the bargeboards his arms. The interior represents his chest with the rafters being the ribs.
The meeting house was built in 1940 to mark the centenary of the signing of the treaty.
A bit of a trek through the grounds to try and find the War Canoe down by the cove at Hobson's Brach, but it is really worth it.
The largest war canoe in the world at 35m long. Called Ngatokimatawharua, it was built for the centenary of the signing of the treaty in 1940 and can carry 80 warriors. It was fashioned from two giant kauri trees and each year on New Zealand Day - the 6th February - it is launcehd for a ceremony.
The walkway back to the visitors centre from the War Canoe is very nicely laid out, with elevated pine walkways amongst the ginat punga ferns.
Originally, the Kauri Forest occupied a substantial portion of the North Island. Overtime, it was almost entirely extinguished. Gum extraction from the trees was also an important activity, which greatly contributed to the decay of trees. There is now a protected area along the north west coast between Dargaville and Opononi. At the Waipoua Kauri Forest, several gigantic specimens can be found, such as Te Mahuta Ngahere or Father of the Forest (in the picture; it’s diameter exceeds 5 meters!). Interestingly, immense logs 30-50,000 years old are now being unburied and used in the manufacturing of various wood crafts. Consider going to the memorable
Kauri Museum, at Matakohe, where souvenirs (mostly wood but also bone and jade carvings) can be purchased at very fair prices.
The 2,500 hectares (6,100 acres) of Waipoua Kauri Forest are covered with mature kauri trees, the largest such forest in the whole of New Zealand. The tree known as " Te Matua Ngahere " - Father of the Forest is around 2,000 years old !
Beautiful Dive Site located off the East coast of the North Island, near Tutukaka. The area is a protected marine sanctuary, so it is teeming with marine life. But, bring your wet suit, as this is cold water diving.... (Please see Poor Knights Travelogue for more dive pictures....)
Although most of New Zealand has been clear cut for sheep/cattle grazing, you can still see some of the massive old growth Kauri trees at Waipoua. The tree in this picture is the "Father of the Forest". It's trunk is more than 5 meters in diameter and is thousands of years old.
Russel is a small historic township with early whaling and sometimes violent political history. Also Christ Church, N.Z.'s oldest church, comes complete with bullet holes. You can get there via passenger ferries which depart Paihia every 20-30 mins or via vehicular ferry at Opua. Russell was an established settlement of the Maori people long before Capt Cook discovered NZ..
Hokianga is not as developed as the Bay of Islands but it is a tranquil and relaxing setting with much to enjoy from the rugged mountains to the golden sand dunes. There are many wonderful walking trails and some great views can be sought around the south head. Hokianga is know for the kauri forests, which are found on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. Some of the biggest Kauri trees, which are known as Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere and the Yakas are found at the Waipoua Sanctuary.
Cape Reinga is at the northernmost tip of the north island of New Zealand. It is the meeting place f the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean and has special significance to the Maori people as being the point where spirits of the Maori dead part company with New Zealand and begin the long journey to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.
Lake Taharoa was very amazing as it was my first experience of a white sand lake. It is not very deep and combination of white water and clear was making the atmosphere for a dip but unfortunately it was very cold.
After Dargaville on state highway 12 Lake Taharoa is situated. It is our last stop before entering Northland Conservation Park. Lake was surrounded by some awesome jungle. The scenery was reflecting some picture of paradise.
You would be surprised that some parts of New Zealand has sand as well. when you travel towards Cape Reinga on state highway 1f, near Te Kao there is a lake called Lake Wahakari. This lake is not very impressive but if you keep following this road you will get to the place The Bluff. It is a series of sand hills.
Otamatea Kauri & Pioneer Museum is in Matakohe. Otamatea Kauri & Pioneer Museum has plenty of interesting stuff. One of the interesting stuff was that steam train engine used for transportation in early days. This train engine has now been preserved in the museum. The main thing about it is that it is in very good shape.
Otamatea Kauri & Pioneer Museum is in Matakohe.One of the section in Otamatea Kauri & Pioneer Museum represents the life style of early stages in New Zealand. In this picture you could see a family and dining room. Dummies have been used to reflect that life style of eighties.
When we left from Auckland Matakohe was our first stop. We were on the mission of exploring Northern Island and our first stop was a small town. In Matakohe the most important thing is to see the Otamatea Kauri & Pioneer Museum. There was nominal entrance fee for the entrance to get in. it took my thirty minutes to get in……no………not because it was busy. I wanted to stretch my legs first after three hours drive. The picture was taken at the time when i was stretching my legs.