Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Northland Trip - Stage Seven

After Christmas in Auckland, it was time to return to the north, this time with family to spend some time in Pouto, on the tip of the North Head of the Kaipara Harbour. It is not a very big place, just a few baches, a lodge and a lighthouse: I spent the early part of my childhood here; for some reason, my eldest nephew had a hankering for us to come up here for Boxing Day. Unfortunately, he was the only one in the family not to make it. We had booked the Memorial Hall, which has been equipped with bunks since I was last here, but the green space surrounding it was so inviting, that I decided camping was the way to go. Yes! That's right; I have taken up camping.

Some random beach scenes from Pouto:
This will explain why Ninety Mile Beach had little appeal; I grew up on a superior beach, one we had always simply called Pouto Beach, but apparently all along it had another name, Ripiri Beach - it stretches all the way past Dargaville. As a kid, we'd sometimes make the 22 mile journey up the beach, always well after midnight, in order to get toheroa. This time, we drove up to Bayley's Beach, where there is a very nice cafe, for coffees, beer and ice cream, going past the old Pouto Lighthouse on the way
The beach was just like a road, smoother even (back in the days we lived there, the road out of Pouto was so bad it would take us a couple of hours to get to Dargaville). On this trip, we averaged 100 km/hrOn the way back, we detoured through Kelly's Bay, as there were rumours of a shop. Nothing of the sort was to be found, just this fellowSince my plan was to carry on up the West Coast and be back in Whangarei in time for the New Year, it was time to push off. Not before visiting my old school, however, where I walked around having a smoke, just to show how bad I am. No-one was there to see it Finally, this is the sort of scenery to be seen from the back of the school I think my brother was right: we lived in paradise and never knew it. Maybe we needed a sign:


Blogger owens valley tomatohead said...

and we, too, have a community called Paradise about 12 miles from here.

Have been enjoying all the stages of your Northland Trip.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

Thanks for that. I did cheat a bit - the Paradise sign is actually from just north of Glenorchy. I always knew it would come in handy!

9:40 PM  

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