Northland Road Trip Part 2

by nmj17

In the morning I washed up, ate breakfast, and walked all the way to the lighthouse at 8am. From the lighthouse I could see the Tasman Sea waves crashing into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. I could also see an ancient Pohutukawa tree down at the edge of the cape. The tree has its own significance to the Māoris in that “All Māori spirits travel up the coast and over the wind-swept vista to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua. They descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root into the sea below. The spirits then travel underwater to the Three Kings Islands where they climb out onto Ohaua, the highest point of the islands and bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui.

There was no one there when I arrived so I just walked around there for a while, took pictures, and left only when I couldn’t stand the raging winds smacking in my face.

From the lighthouse, I hiked to Te Werahi Beach and back for around 3 hours. I then took a short nap in the car before I drived to Topotupotu Bay. From Topotupotu Bay, I decided to drive to a town called Awanui. Along the way, I… picked up a guy who wanted to hitch-hike. Throughout the drive, he told me more about himself and about all the places that he has travelled. It was nice to hear to what he has to say. So, his name is Dominic and he’s from Switzerland. He used to be an architect for a really successful company but then he decided that he would rather spend his time travelling and being closer to nature so he quit his job and decided to travel around the world on a shoestring budget. To finance his travels, he goes WWOOFing. WWOOF: Willing Workers on Organic Farms – a host system where you exchange hours of work for accommodation and food.

It’s interesting to know that there are lots of people out there who can just throw caution to the wind, quit their jobs, leave their comfort zone and just travel.

I dropped Dominic off in a small town and drove to Waipoua Forest to see ancient Kauri trees. It was raining, and it was starting to get dark when I arrived there at 7:40pm but there was still some daylight left for me to navigate my way through the forest to see the largest Kauri tree in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). I really wanted to do a hike there but it’s already dark and it’s raining so I returned to my car.

The drive out of Waipoua Forest was difficult as the roads were winding. The roads were also wet, so I had to drive really carefully. Things couldn’t get even worse when it got really foggy and I had to drive slowly. I was exhausted from the drive by the time I reached Dargaville at 9pm. I then tried to look for places to sleep in the town but there were none so I decided to just go on a highway to the next town when I saw that there’s a resting place by the highway and stopped there instead. It was already 11pm when I tried to sleep.

I couldn’t sleep well as it was raining heavily. I drifted in and out of sleep, spent a few minutes stargazing when the skies have cleared, and then slept until 6. I had breakfast while trying to figure out where to go next. I decided to wash up at Maungituroto at 8:30am, do a 2 hour hike at Dome Forest, and then chill at Orewa Beach. I lazed by the beach and stayed to watch the sunset, and then I drove to Takapuna Beach and stayed there till 8pm.

Drove to Auckland Museum to stargaze for a while, parked the car at Domain Drive, and arrived home at 1am in the morning. Dags was still up so I talked to her for a bit; it was so nice to talk to her after spending a couple of days all alone talking to myself on the road. Then I took long shower and went to sleep.

Go on a road trip all by myself. Check. :) Will I go on a road trip again? Definitely! Will I do ever do it alone again? I’m not sure about that. There are downsides to doing a road trip alone. First being you’ll be the only one who’s going to bear the cost of renting the car and the cost of the fuel.

Also, you’ll keep wishing throughout the road trip that some people were there to see it all with you.