Ok finally made it to Napier, a little later than planned but we’re here now, there’s proper internet, so time to catch up on the last few days.
So where were we… Ah yes, on Sunday we said goodbye to the gang and headed down to Mahia Peninsula. Spent the night at Mahia Beach campsite which was really cool. Nice – right next to the lovely long beach. Both campsite and beach were pretty empty so nice and peaceful.
A short walk into “town” for our evening meal of fush n chups (ok got to hold back on these now it’s at least the 3rd time in less than a fortnight but… bloody fresh and delish so would have been churlish not to).
Walked down to the beach to watch the sun set and have a bit of a stroll.
Monday morning woke fresh as daisies after a peaceful night’s sleep then drove up the coast a bit to Cafe Mahia for brekkie.
Very cool place. Nice to see business is doing well, it’s expanded a bit since the last time I was here.
The local Maori Women’s Welfare League were on for their crimbo lunch later that afternoon so had started to gather. Once suitably fortified it was a bit of car breaking as we came to the rescue of the very lovely treasurer, Pitu who had locked her keys in her car. Between Roz, myself, some wire and a very long twig we were able to fish the keys out and return them to a very happy Nana.
Mooched around Mahia checking out the many and different beaches then we were off on the next leg – Lake Waikaremoana in the stunning Te Urewera National Park. A quick stock up and refuel at Wairoa about 60 Km from our camping stop for the night then forward onward for the the long long and dusty drive down the twisty turny gravel road – well worth the effort to arrive at such a beautiful spot.
Parked up the van by the lake, got settled then I headed off up the Hinau Track which conveniently started just behind our spot for the night. Short steep climb was rewarded by a walk through beautiful native bush, wild flowers, glimpses of the stunning lake below and clear sight of it from the road at Whaitiri Point.
A short wander back in time for dinner and to another gorgeous sunset over the lake.
After another refreshing sleep woke feeling very chilled so decided to try and catch another sunrise. Mist over the lake and peacefulness was great.
Then had a morning of waterfalls. From the visitor’s centre there are 3 wonderful and easily accessible sites. The centre was staffed by very lovely folk including a woman who’d spent some time living in London’s King’s Cross, and a bloke who’d spent some time driving the no. 19 bus route from Finsbury Park to Battersea – small world and I quite fancy the jobs they have now.
First stop Nga Makawe o Hinewai – Bridal Veil Falls through more lovely bush, glimpses of the lake and views of the forest canopy across the valley.
Next stop Aniwaniwa Falls – more loveliness just a short distance away.
Final stop in the immediate area Papakarito Falls a short 1.5 Km drive from the visitor’s centre.
As if we hadn’t seen enough water falling for the day, we headed on to Mokau Falls about 10 Km away in the wrong direction. A bit of a mission to get to but can be seen from the road so that was good…
Then it was back the way we came for the long and dusty drive back to Wairoa where we had a spot of home (or should I say van) made lunch. Our Roz makes a mean cheese, tomato, and avocado sarnie and apparently I make a mean pot of coffee (ok too much detail).
Although we intended to try and squash a visit to Napier as well, we instead stopped off for the night a short distance short of the town as it was already dinner time so we thought we’d save Napier for the morning. Campsite nothing to write home about, yeah it was on the beach but we’ve stayed at much nicer beaches. Relative expensive too AND you had to pay for the showers! I won’t name it suffice to say it had the words Bay, View, and Snapper in the title and came recommended by the i site in Wairoa.
Cooked up a storm of a delicious and nutritious dinner in the van. An excellent team effort after which, totally bushed, hit the hay for an early night.
So now we’re bang up to date. Spending a couple hours in Napier then wending our way south to Masterton where we will be spending the night.
So ta ta from two very happy campers… next installment from Masterton or Wellington City in the next day or two.