As a group, you will start at Rangitoto, the largest volcano in New Zealand before driving west to Karekare, a stunning beach on the outskirts of Auckland. You will finish the day by driving north to visit Tane Mahuta, the oldest living kauri tree in New Zealand.
After a very busy day of sightseeing you and your group drive from Tane Mahuta to your hotel in Dargaville. When you arrive you decide to sit down and record your thoughts in your travel diary. On your blog, tell us which of the three places you most enjoyed visiting and why.
Travel Diary - Day 2
FREE WI-FI! I was worried I wouldn’t be able to share a few things before turning in for the night. Thank you Hobson’s Choice Hotel, you are great. This is where we are staying after our busy day of exploring and discovering.
Today started out really early as we had three great places to visit, Karekare Beach, Rangitoto Island and the mighty Tane Mahuta up north. We made our way to Karekare Beach first thing to watch the sun rise. It was windy and cold, but still awesome. Lucky we had our thermos of hot milo. It is the first black sanded beach I have seen in real life. We were not the only people on the beach enjoying the morning, there were surfers getting ready. It was much too cold to take a swim, we might have to wait for the summer.
We made a mad dash across Auckland in time to catch the 9:15am ferry to Rangitoto. I have never been on a ferry before. I was worried I would be sick. Lucky for me I didn’t get seasick. The return ferry to Auckland was leaving at 12:45pm, so we had a chance to visit the gull breeding colony, and we walked around the island. Rangitoto - means Bloody Sky. My ancestor, Tamatekapua was hurt on the island during a battle and that’s why it is named Rangitoto, short for Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua ('The days of the bleeding of Tama-te-kapua').
We had a nearly four hour drive up North, before arriving at Tane Mahuta. I slept the entire way, sorry.
Tane Mahuta is AWESOME! When I think about the Maori legend of how Ranginui and Papatuanuku were separated by Tane Mahuta, I don’t have to imagine how strong or how big he must have been, I saw today for myself. It felt like such a waahi tapu (sacred place) that I wanted to show respect for Tane and his kainga (home/surroundings) by not running around and by not eating or leaving rubbish lying around. I remember a story my mum had shared about her visit to Tane Mahuta when she was a little girl and had been able to give him a big awhi (hug). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that, but I did see Tane Mahuta’s brother, Te Matua Ngahere - “Lord of the Forest”. It was such an amazing spiritual experience.
If I had to pick my favourite place that I visited today, it would have to be Tane Mahuta. He is AWESOME! To be in his presence was very humbling, and to have the chance to visit this sacred place where my mum had been many years before, was pretty special to me.