Kauri Coast

The Kauri Coast is the home of the biggest Kauri trees in New Zealand, this is one of the most ancient tree species left in the world and in the mystical Waipoua Forest you can feel like Frodo when you walk towards the 2000 year old giants. Feel the presence of Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest) and Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest), the two largest trees who were once only allowed to be approached by Maori priests. Make a detour to Trounson Kauri Park where you can almost be guaranteed to hear or see a Kiwi when you take a night walk with a ranger. Visit the largest NZ freshwater Kai Iwi dune lakes where locals go to waterski. Take a detour and experience Ripiro Beach, the longest driveable beach in NZ, with 110 kms of beach driving. After some rural atmosphere in Dargaville drive south along the Kaipara Harbour, the largest harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe which tells the story of the Kauri gum diggers and the logging industry.

Wonderful view of Ripiro Beach from the start of the Maunganui Bluff walk at Aranga Beach.
Wonderful view of Ripiro Beach from the start of the Maunganui Bluff walk at Aranga Beach.
Maunganui Bluff Walk - Ripiro Beach
Maunganui Bluff Walk – made it to the top of a 400 m cliff overlooking the endless 110 km long Ripiro Beach, you can see the curving of the planet!
ripiro beach flower
Beautiful flower along Ripiro Beach.
ripiro beach
Ripiro Beach is an official highway, best access is at Baylys Beach, good enough for a turn in a rental car, but can be dangerous in softer sand and with tides coming in!
Near Baylys Beach on a Sunday afternoon.
Near Baylys Beach on a Sunday afternoon.
baylys beach
Just beautiful – a piece of jellyfish.
One of the exciting Ripiro Beach access points through the sand dunes.
One of the exciting Ripiro Beach access points through the sand dunes.
The Dargaville 'Yacht Harbour', not quite as big as the East Coast marinas...
The Dargaville ‘Yacht Harbour’, not quite as big as the East Coast marinas…
House in Te Kopuru, south of Dargaville.
House in Te Kopuru, south of Dargaville.
west coast bach
Bit of an old-fashioned ‘self-cleaning’ (yeah right!) bach on the West Coast.
The campground at the Kai Iwi lakes.
The campground at the Kai Iwi lakes, wonderful for swimming, like a Maldives lagoon on a sunny day, fresh and safe, wonderful! But lots of waterskiers as well…
Whakapirau
Author having a rest in the Kaipara (down the beach from Whakapirau).
Whakapirau - Kaipara sunset!
Basically inland at Whakapirau, but what a Kaipara sunset!
Giant Moreton Bay fig tree in Pahi on the Kaipara Harbour
Giant Moreton Bay fig tree in Pahi on the Kaipara Harbour – it got a mention in Wikipedia because of its size: ‘measured in 1984 as 26.5 metres high and 48.5 metres wide’!
The Pahi wharf - Kaipara Harbour.
The Pahi wharf – looking over to Whakapirau. Both settlements can be reached from Paparoa/Maungaturoto.
sunset
Really, that Kaipara sunset was spectacular.