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Oct 24
Tue

The Father of the Forest in Waipoua Forest & Camping at Baylys Beach

The road is drivable again but it's still raining heavily. That's what you have to go through sometimes in New Zealand ;-) The carpark is marked by a brown sign: Kauri Walks. There you have the choice between 3 short walks, we decide to combine the Four Sisters Walk and the Te Matua Ngahere Walk. Everything is huge here, even the ferns are much taller than us. There are lianas and once again we see the typical palm-like plants called social climbers in the tree tops. We meet a group of birdwatchers. With their binoculars they are searching the forest ground for the little fernbird. We can hear it's sound clearly and they tell us the fernbird is «not rare but difficult to see». We spend a little time waiting with them, but we are not patient enough and move on. We want to admire more kauri. At first the path leads along Rimu and some smaller Kauri and then to 4 slim and tall Kauri trees standing very close together: the Four Sisters.

Waipoua Kauri Forest Giant ferns in Waipoua Kauri Forest · more Waipoua Kauri Forest pictures more pictures

We're fascinated by Te Matua Ngahere, the Father of the Forest. The oldest Kauri tree in New Zealand. With a height of 29.9 metres it's the second tallest Kauri, not as high as Tane Mahuta but with a trunk girth of 16.41 metres this tree is much more impressive, almost like a wall when you're standing in front of it. With this size and an age estimated to be around 2000 years old this wonderful giant tells us tales about time. We stay, impressed, until our camera bags can't absorb any more water and we have to go back.

Waipoua Kauri Forest Te Matua Ngahere · more Waipoua Kauri Forest pictures more pictures

We continue our way to Dargaville. The town is situated on the bank of the Northern Wairoa (= long water) River. In the south the river runs into Kaipara Harbour. Across this once very important river Kauri gum and Kauri wood was once transported. In the past Dargaville was only accessible by waterway. Even until 1920 arrival by boat was favoured because of the bad road conditions. Today horticulture and farming are Dargaville's main industries. Here we find the Firestone garage we need so urgently. Unfortunately, we can't get a spare tyre because the wheel is missing as well (since we weren't able to separate it from the burst tyre without professional tools). The super nice mechanic carefully checks all the tyres. He gives Maui in Auckland a call and they will keep the spare tyre ready for us.

We need to stay at a camp site today and choose Baylys Beach. The rain has stopped so we take advantage of the dry weather and wash our laundry. For once, the campsite is not right at the beach but it's only a short walk through the village and along the road to get down there. Even this beautiful West Coast beach is incredibly vast and wide, quite breezy. Tire tracks and drifts in the sand, a handful of beach walkers, high dunes behind.

Baylys Beach On wide bright Baylys Beach · more Baylys Beach pictures more pictures

At night we wonder about the moon. It's hanging in the sky like a bowl.

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