With Blue Rhino gassed up and ready to go, we headed two hours north to the little coastal city of Whangarei (fahnga-ray). It was a rainy, cool day so we opted to skip out on a local beach spot known as Ruakaka (roo-ah-kah-kah) and headed directly to Whangarei Falls.
Whangarei Falls, standing at an impressive 26 meters (85 feet), was a quick walk from the carpark (aka parking lot), so we decided to take an additional hike through the AH Reed Kauri Park to find the equally as beautiful, but not as popular, Pukenui (poo-kah-new-eee) Falls.
After an hour and half of tramping through the rainy rainforest we were soaked to the bone, so we set out for our first camping spot of the trip: Whangaruru (Fun-ga-roo-roo) North. With our original plan still in mind, we decided to take the Tutukaka (Too-too-kah-kah) coastal route. The Tutukaka Coast is a portion of coast with white sand beaches and blue-green coves as far as the eye can see…on a clear day; of course, all we saw was a blanket of fog.
Paying little mind to the weather, this was the first day of our NZ adventuring outside of Auckland afterall, we made sure to stop at the highly recommended Matapouri Bay. Despite the lousy conditions the bay was as gorgeous as ever, leaving us to ponder what a sunny day might look like and hoping that we would get a chance to return in better weather.
After conquering the remaining portion of the twisty, steep coastal route we finally rolled up to our campsite. Having just enough light to make dinner but not enough enthusiasm to go out searching for the ever-elusive kiwi bird, we turned in for the evening and hoped for sunnier days ahead! Next stop: Rainbow Falls.
– Go. Change your state of mind.