Saturday, March 24, 2018

Matapouri Bay

After the cave, we continued our northering way, along the east coast, to Whangerei, the largest of the Northland's cities. There we scored the last of the free camper sites at the city's downtown marina. We spent the afternoon and evening stimulating the local economy and then continued on up the coast the next morning, landing March 22nd, finally, at beautiful Matapouri Bay on the Tutukaka coast; and one of the three free sites right on the beach. There, however, our good luck suffered a setback or two.
Encampment at Whangerei marina (boats beyond the trees); all
in a beautiful park

Big Kiwi neighbor

Our van is 3.2m high!

View out our windshield at Matapouri

Huge, broad beach, low tide; we decided to hike up between
the two hills for a look at Whale Bay, said to be the most beautiful
on this coast

Huge broad hard-packed beach

The whole area done in pohutukawas

The climb up between the two hills

She is smiling, but we have already resolved to head back down

From this point it was roots and branches for hand-holds and
steps gouged into slippery clay for foot-holds; more rain was on
way, and a couple younger parties ahead of us had demurred;
and two parties coming over from the other side said don't do it;
the fixed rope we used climbing up should have been a clue...
in any case, I suddenly remembered I have balance issues and
Vicki remembered she has an artificial knee, and so "on belay!"
and we inched our way back down; a nice walk on the beach
would be just fine

Very long root of a cliff-hanging pohutukawa

Different view of Matapouri Bay

Islands and sea-stacks in the distance

And a beautiful wild surf

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