We had intended moving on early, but it was another lovely day, so we put the washing on, and walked up to the “Rainbow Warrior Memorial” overlooking the bay. By the time everything was dry and folded, it was 11am.
Today’s itinerary took us through the giant Kauri forests of the west coast. We took a slightly ‘scenic’ route around many unsealed roads, before eventually emerging onto the highway at Oponomi. The detour had cost us at least an hour. We stopped at the visitor centre to buy postcards and pick up some information on the Kauri trees.
The largest of the trees are estimated to be around 2,000 years old. The great Tane Mahuta tree is 17.7m tall and has a girth of 13.8m. Taking a picture of it involved Brigid hanging upside down over a fence in order to get some idea of the scale…which is why John might appear to be laughing in this photo!
We reached Dargaville by 6pm, and rang Cameron Smith. Brigid offered to share the cost of the petrol but when she came to pay, found that she had left her credit card in the dive shop at Matauri Bay. (Women! What did I tell you?!) We hastily rang the campsite shop. They found the card and agreed to post it to Cameron’s address in Rotorua.
We ate at the “Leigh by the Sea” bar/grill, where the duty manager, Anya Palmer, kindly said we could park in her driveway overnight. Over dinner, we bumped into Luke, a qualified PADI instructor in the process of setting up his own dive shop, and tentatively booked to dive with him on Sunday.