Frank's Excellent Adventure travel blog

Birthday Dinner!

Matauri Bay

Hike To Memorial

Rainbow Warrior Memorial

Rainbow Warrior Memorial 2

It's A Long Way Down

No Shit

View Of Tasman Sea

90 Mile Beach

Sand Safaris

Giant Sand Dune

Ready or not

Sand Tobogganing

Te Rerenga Wairua

Cape Reinga

Tapotupotu Bay

Gumdiggers Park

Gumdiggers Tunnel

Gumdiggers Hole


Ancient Kauri Staircase

Kauri Carving

Ferry Across Hokianga Harbour

Sand Dunes

Tane Mahuta

Lord Of The Forest

Lord Of The Forest 2

Te Matua Ngahere

Father Of The Forest

Father Of The Forest 2


Like four lean hounds the lighthouse keep, Wildflower seed in the sand and wind, May the four winds blow you home again .... Wow, what an incredible week. I am finishing my tour of the Northland and the Far North and heading south back towards Auckland today. I made it all the way to Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga in Maori, which as legend goes is the departing place for souls as they journey back to the home land of Hawaiki. Awesome! It is also where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. Very cool. But let me backtrack. I started with meeting some new friends, Jeff & Faye. I met Jeff in Mangonui and he invited me back to their place in Whatuwhiwhi, up on Doubtless Bay. Faye cooked us a great meal and I spent the night on their property with the lambs, pigs, ducks, cats and dog. Amazing hospitality. It turned out that Jeff and I share the same Birthday - December 19th - and Faye baked a Banana Cake for our birthday celebration! I spent my 45th birthday scuba diving out of Matauri Bay. I did 2 dives that day, but the highlight was the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior. The Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace Ship that was planning on going to protest the French nuclear testing in the South Pacific and French Secret Service Agents snuck into New Zealand and blew it up in Auckland Harbour! It is an incredible story and still a sore spot for many Kiwi. The dive was fantastic and to top the day off, when I got back to shore the Dive Master had one of his friends give me a Cray (lobster) which I cooked for my dinner. Nice. I then took a day tour on Sand Safaris. It started with a 4 wheel drive up the 90 Mile Beach as the tide was coming in. We had to really move to beat the tide. Then they cruise up Te Paki Stream, which is also known as "Quick Sand Stream", and over to the Giant Sand Dunes. Yes, I hauled my overweight, 45 year old ass up the dune for a shot at Sand Tobogganing (I have the picture to prove it). We then went up to Cape Reinga and I spent some time hiking the cliffs around the cape. We enjoyed a picnic lunch at Tapotupotu Bay and stopped at some mind blowing white sand beaches. The day ended with a tour of Gumdiggers Park, which is where they have buried ancient Kauri Forests that date back to 45,000 years old and 100,000 years old. Some interesting history. Gumdigging? Talk about a hard days work! Yesterday I drove through the Hokianga region and took the car ferry over Hokianga Harbour to the Waipoua Forest. The forest is now protected and is home to the worlds oldest living Kauri Trees. Some say over 2000 years old. The highlights were a visit to Tane Mahuta or "Lord of the Forest" which is the largest living Kauri tree. Truly spectacular and awe inspiring. Then it was off to say hello to the Four Sisters before a humbling moment with Te Matua Ngahere "Father of the Forest" the second largest living Kauri and also the widest. Incredible! The drive through the forest left me smiling and giggling. Well I am off to Auckland to hopefully find a really nice (5 Star) Hotel and spoil myself for Christmas. It has been almost 3 weeks living in the Spaceship and it is time for some Room Service and maybe even a Spa appointment? I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! My love to all of you. Peace, Frank

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