Posted by: monsonmadness | May 29, 2012

Hiking with chains, Kauri trees, rainbows, red sheep, and huge ice creams

Day 3 – Wednesday 30th May

Today I drove for 9 hours. Although I’ve done many cross country trips in my life, I was mostly the passenger, not the driver. I am pretty tired, but I had to get onto the computer to send an email to the babysitter to apologize for missing our Skype session with the kids. Don’t think we’ll have Internet the next two days. I wish I could have chatted with them today…

Anyway, we got up early and Michael exercised like a maniac while I blogged. Then we had our free continental breakfast (with real milk, not from a carton on the shelf), and we started our day.

We hiked up to St. Paul’s Dome which had a 360 degree view of Whangaroa Harbor. It was a gorgeous view, but as usual, I was out of shape and needed several rest stops along the way. At the top, we had to use chains to climb up to the top of the rock. The thing that kept me going was knowing that my Mum had done this hike a few years ago. If she can do it, so can I!!!!

After that we headed off to Pakiri forest to do a hike at Waihoanga Gorge. We got to check out all of the cool Kauri trees. They look like palm trees with fern leaves, they’re really cool. There was a waterfall too. It was fun walking through the fields like in England, trying not to get electrocuted as we climbed over the electric fences, and then trying to make it back to the car before the rain came down.

The rest of the day was mostly driving. We did see a lot of wildlife (big deal to us since all we see are dogs, critters and sea creatures in American Samoa). We saw plenty more sheep and cows, but we also saw deer, llamas, pheasants, hawks, Shetland ponies, king fishers, and red sheep. No joke, someone had spray painted them red, a whole field of them, we drove by too fast to pull out the camera.

Great parts of the day included seeing tons of rainbows. We stopped counting at 10. We saw the most perfect complete rainbow that we drove through, and then another that seemed to land right on the sky tower as we drove past Auckland.

It was cool to see clementines growing on trees, and big bags of them as well as kiwis being sold on the side of the road.

On my friend’s recommendation, we stopped in Pokeno for a famous ice cream cone. They sell 26 scoop cones! I wanted to get one for the photo, but Papa Bear said no! Well, you know, he said it was up to me, but you know what that means! So, I ended up standing in front of a photo of a huge ice cream with my little two scoop wonder instead. It was delicious. We ate Indian food for dinner, and drove the most dangerous road in the world to our next accommodation.

Not so great parts of the day were almost running out of gas and having to come down a mountain with Michael “reminding” me, “just coast, just coast, don’t use any gas!”, getting allergies (sore throat, stuffed nose, sneezing, watery eyes), not having time to go to the lighthouse that we wanted. Also, I am tired of driving curved roads in the dark. At least tomorrow on the way back I will be able to see where I’m going and enjoy the scenery!


  1. Such gorgeous scenery!!! Miles and I want to go there someday. And long road trips were MUCH easier when we were younger!!

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