We continued our journey to the Far North of the North Island. We visited another flooded town in the Bay of Islands. This one’s claim to fame is a public toilet designed by the architect, Hundertwasser.
It was pretty cool, but the tiles are pretty slick when wet.
We made our way to Paihia, but with the recent rains, the bay water looked pretty muddy.
We made a stop at St Paul’s Church, which stands at the site of NZ’s first church. This newer church is a beautiful building with some fun stained glass.
Nearby was the Haruharu Falls, which normally you can kayak under. Not today!
Nearby was Kerikeri.
This the Stone Store. It is NZ’s oldest stone building (1836).
Leaving the Bay of Islands area, we continued further north.
First off was Matauri Bay.
St Paul’s Rock.
We finally reached the northernmost peninsula on NZ, the Far North. Our first stop after fueling up was Gumdiggers Park. This is kinda an outdoor museum of the industry of kauri gum. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, this swampy land was dry enough to support kauri forests. At least twice in history, a cataclysmic event knocked over these trees and buried them. Now the swampy land preserves the wood and gum that was buried. And people used to dig the gum up for trade. In more recent times, they were used for making resins.
But first, an Auckland green gecko.
They are amazingly hard to find.
A rough way to live in this enviroment!
Sometimes it was a bit like panning for gold.
A gum-washing machine.
They would dig holes along the trunks of fallen trees to find the roots, where the most gum was located.
This massive root structure belongs to a tree that is approximately 14 meters in girth. The wood has been tested to be around 100,000-150,000 years old, possibly the oldest non-fossilized wood found on earth.
That vertical wood there is a more recent (45000 years ago) tree that grew up over the remnants of the earlier one.
In 2011, they unearthed this beauty, which is from 150,000 years ago.
At least all this rain provides plenty of rainbows.