Hokianga ferry is just short voyage across the bay, but it saves you from going around. And what was important to us – they had a detail map on board which showed us more local attractions than we were aware of.
From all of them we chose the Koutu Boulders, which is something similar to Moeraki Boulders near Dunedin. We arrived just in time before sunset, the light was just perfect and we really enjoyed the time on the beach. The boulders are a bit smaller compared to Moeraki, not sure if they were created the same way, but they are nice for sure.
It was also perfect place for us to sleep at and have our last BBQ on the road. The second day it was just short drive to Opononi, where is a grave of really friendly dolphin, who played there with children and was killed by some fisherman in 1956. Well, the city is small and quite and just across the bay is awesome sand dune, which attracted us for another surfing. But we said no, we still have a lot to see and have to go.
Waiotemarani Falls is really small and not so nice (and we hope we snapped the right waterfall). But just next to the parkplace before it is the labyrinth and puzzle house called Labyrinth Woodworks. Absolutely incomparable to Puzzling World in Wanaka, this place is really cosy and you are welcome by Louis, who the creator of puzzles and even have been to Prague last year with his puzzle qualifying for final (no, I wasn’t able to get from them how they find the winning puzzle). Anyway, we were welcomed by handing several puzzles to us to solve and we slowly managed to solve them. All of them, finally.
Especially the first one we got was funny. Absolutly unable to open it, then guided by Louis to shake our hands and let negative energy go away and they open it without problem. Tried again in a minute or two without success. Louis just took it from us, let us shake the energy away and – voila, we did it. But after two or three hours we spent there (instead of 15 minutes we originally planned to) we were able to solve this puzzle on our own as well.
We chose a lot of different puzzles and wanted to buy them, but none of our cards was working. Which was really strange, as we get, during those two month, used to the fact, that Vlada’s card doesn’t work on South Island and works just in about 60% on North Island, my card usually works but there were cases where it didn’t and Tomas‘ works every time. But here, non of them was working. Luckily they had the old mechanical terminal and we were able to pay offline. So, if you want to be sure, take some cash with you, they have really nice stuff there.
And from this place also the Kauri coast starts, with Waipoua Kauri Forest, where the biggest kauri trees are. First in line is Tane Mahuta, which is the biggest living kauri.
The trees are just huge, not so high but really thick. No surprise that Maori used them for making their boats. There is more of them of the way south and the bush around is really dense. Moving south till we hit Matakohe, where the Kauri museum is.
Its exhibit is huge, with a lot of old machinery and one really get to know how they worked with those trees.
And it is just unbelievable how thick those trees can be. They have a lot of stuff made from them and it is really nice, the wood just shines. As the day is almost over we sit in our car and starting for last leg of our trip – back to Parakai Airfield, where will be sleeping again.