Monday, October 14, 2019

NZ 2019: A Look Back at Great Barrier and the North Island

"One of the greatest thrills in travel is to know the satisfaction of arrival, and to find oneself among friends."
Paul Theroux, in his NYT piece Paul Theroux's Mexican Journey

That sums up perfectly our experience in NZ. It is our good fortune to spent the better part of three seasons here, and for a third time the country and its citizens have welcomed us with grace and smiles, generosity of spirit, and good humor. Taking a look back...

We began on Great Barrier Island

All craggy shoreline, water water everywhere, and rough metal roads in a rental car.

This view from our room at Trillium Lodge...and the stars.

Back to the North Island, where we picked up the caravan for a tour of the unexplored (by us) parts north of Auckland. A few of our favorite things...

The gannet colony near Muriwai

Fried haloumi (on anything)

Engaging signs

Muriwai Beach

Any place we stayed that was growing food and offered me free range...

The caravan remote control... arrange this view in Rawene, possibly my favorite of the trip as it seems to utterly embody the spirit of the South Pacific.

Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest
The magnificent kauri trees that once covered vast portions of the North Island have been reduced to a handful of giant individuals. There is magic in its presence. I get a chill when I see this photo.

And a picture from The Guardian, with people for scale. 200,000 people visit this tree each year (what does that tell us?). From the story:
“Sometimes people are overwhelmed and end up crying,” says Vanessa Rapira of the Te Roroa tribe, who is employed by the Department of Conservation to be near Tāne in all weathers and to serve as its ambassador and its protector. “It is the energy that the visitors pick up, not only from Tāne Mahuta but also the surroundings,” she says.

Baylys Beach

Pahi Beach

Mangawhai Heads
The happy fish man and his wares at the Mangawhai Saturday Market.

Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway 

Uretiti DOC campsite and beach


The Brick Bay Sculpture Trail



Art's grilled NZ lambchops


Pied shag

Low tide at Bland Bay

The moving and instructive tour at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

All the chowder!

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