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Tēnā koutou katoa

This is all about New Zealand - Aotearoa - and the time I spent there. Magical times, beautiful scenery, gushing geysers, thermal wonderlands. Hear about Waitangi Day, discover the meaning of the word "Aotearoa", see the Glaciers, read about hangis and Hakas, and visit the beautiful Bay of Islands. So come with me on a journey - a journey to The Land of The Long White Cloud.
Kia ora


Watch The Haka

4. Bay of Islands - Magicbus, Matakohe and Waipoua Forest

Wednesday 3 January

Up early today - today is the start of my "tour" with Magic - New Zealand's hop-on/hop-off backpacker bus. Below are the two passes I chose - Kiwi Traverse and Northland Escape. But when I did this, the route for Northland was different - we headed north along the Kauri coast (west)then east to Paihia and south down the Hibiscus coast (east coast)

The driver pulled up at the YHA around 8.50am, loaded up our luggage and we were off.

Matakohe House

Our first stop was at Matakohe. We visited the Kauri and Pioneer Museum and had morning tea/early lunch at Matakohe House, where I enjoyed a couple of sausage rolls and a yummy slice of carrot cake. Matakohe House is a charming B & B and has a licensed cafe and their menu consists of fresh, locally home-grown produce and often freshly caught seafood. The staff were friendly and helpful and it was a very pleasant place to spend time enjoying good coffee and the comfortable atmosphere.
For the convenience of the travelling public, toilets (wheelchair friendly) are provided within the cafe complex. Also available to the coach crews is an area in which they can relax, read the newspaper or watch television while their passengers enjoy the varied attractions

Tane Mahuta

After passing through Dargville, the road narrows somewhat on the way through the Waipoua Forest, which was our second stop of the day. The forests of Waipoua are the garden of Tane Mahuta - the "Lord of the Forest", the largest Kauri tree in New Zealand, with a height of 52 metres. it is said to be 1,200 years old.

The Story of Tane Mahuta
In the beginning there were no earth, no sky, no sea. Out of this desire came the two primal parents Papatuanuku ( the Earth mother) and Ranginui ( the Sky father). They embraced in the realm of night and seventy children were born to them, all male, and thus Ira Atua (the first family) came into being. Living in darkness and longing to experience the Image courtesy of Taiamai Toursworld of light and day, the siblings decided that their parents should be separated.

However, not all the children agreed. Tumatauenga ( the deity of war) wanted them killed. Tane Mahuta ( the deity of man and forests and everything that dwells within) thought they should be separated, with Ranginui going above t the sky and Papatuanuku dwelling on the earth below. In turn they tried to separate their parents. Rongomatane (deity and father of cultivated foods) tried, but with no success. Tangaroa (deity of the sea), followed by Tumatauenga also tried but to no avail. Finally Tane Mahuta placed his shoulders against the ground, thrust his feet upwards and pushed.

The sinews binding his parents stretch back and forth, heaving and swaying, until finally the parents were separated and the children experienced Te Ao Marama (light of day) for the first time. When this happened, Tawhirimatea (deity and father of winds and storms) who had not agreed to the separation, went up to the sky to be with his father.

When the separation was completed there was only one thing lacking, the uha ( female element). Since there were no women, Tane took some clay from a place known as kura-waka and fashioned it into the form of a women. Then he breathed life into the nostrils, and thus was created Hine-ahu-one (the earth formed maiden). Tane Mahuta and Hine-ahu-one had a daughter and thus the family of man had begun.

The Passion Wagon/Shaggin' Wagon

This van from Wicked Campers was parked on the outskirts of the forest and gave rise to much merriement - it seemed to be a throwback to the "hippy" days of the 1960's - make love not war!

Matakohe Click on blue marker for photo

View Matakohe House in a larger map

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