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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The New Zealand giants

New Zealand time 21.35 on the 8th January 2017

OMG... we were in awe...those Kauri trees....I felt overwhelmed at the sheer size of these magnificent trees. The father of the forest has been estimated to be between 1,500 and 2000 years old, a seedling at the time of Christ. Called the Te Matua Ngahere with a girth of 16.41meters and height of 29.9m it was still not the tallest tree in the forest and was only the 2nd oldest. The tallest and oldest was the Tane Mahutu 'Lord of the forest' at 51.5 meters high with a girth of 13.8 and a young sapling at over 2000 years ago.

At every location we cleaned our shoes

Te Matua Ngahere 'Father of the forest'.

And this was the tallest and oldest, Tane Mahutu
Leaving each location we had to disinfect our shoes again but like our Ash dieback, it is a problem out here in NZ. Such a fine line between survival and destruction and all from spores carried on footwear.

Also, a 15-minute walk away, the four sisters, a group of 4 Kauri trees. Not as old as the other two but equally impressive.

Leaving around 11ish we headed off toward Auckland, not to stop for a look but to reach our destination of Coromandel Peninsular. 366 kilometres away it took us about 5 hours driving time. A few comfort stops on route and actually time was nearer 7 hours. So we pulled into a site in the heart of the Thames at about 18.00.....yep that's right this place is called the Thames a surprisingly large town, but the site was almost like a backyard with one toilet, one shower and room for about 7 campervans! Still, it's cheap and the staff are friendly and very helpful. We did have to pay a dollar to use the shower but for 5 minutes of hot water it was the sheer joy of being able to let the water run for that length of time (for those who know nothing about living on a narrowboat, water is to be used sparingly and letting a shower run is a sacrilege!) So tomorrow there is loads of things on the agenda, creek railway and hidden falls are but two.

And wildlife

Californian quail




Tom and Jan said...

Hi Irene & Ian

My travel suggestion post Rotorua would be as follows
1. Ororanhanga to see the Kiwis and Tuataras http://kiwihouse.org.nz
2. Then the short distance to Waitomo and visit the Glow worm Caves. Best in NZ http://www.waitomo.com/Waitomo-Glowworm-Caves/Pages/default.aspx
3. Cross to Taupo in the centre of the island and visit the Huka Fallshttp://www.greatlaketaupo.com/things-to-do/must-do/huka-falls/
4. View Lake Taupo. It's the mouth of a volcano. Take a hot springs swim at De Bretts in Taupo https://www.taupodebretts.co.nz/taupo-debretts-hot-springs-pools
5. Drive to Napier on the East Coast. It is world famous for it's Art Deco architecture http://www.artdeconapier.com
That should keep you busy for 5 days :-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Tom and Jan. At least now we can plan our route.

Jenny said...

A belated "Welcome to New Zealand" - we are sure you will have a wonderful time exploring our beautiful country.

The birds with the white tufts are their throats are called a tui - also known as Parson birds by the early settlers.

Tom and Jan's travel suggestions are great. Are you heading down to Wellington? Te Papa Museum is a must see, a ride in the Cable Car, and a walk along the wharves of Wellington too.

Enjoy your travels, and we will enjoy reading about them too!

Robin and Jenny Romanyrambler.blogspot.com

Marilyn McDonald said...

The bird you call a whitethroat is actually a tui, known by early british settlers as a parson bird for obvious reasons.
They have the most beautiful voices - you'll hear them in our garden.
Cheers, Marilyn

Marilyn McDonald said...

By the way, Tom means Otorohanga for the kiwi and tuatara - the Kiwi House is pretty cool. You can be stunned at the size of the kiwi egg ...
Just north of Taupo, go to Orakei Korako - a hot springs thermal area. And at Huka Falls, go and watch the dam opening at Aratitatia and possibly do the boat trip (launch, not jet boat) to the base of the Huka Falls - our friend Lesley from Kent reckons it was a real highlight of her trip.
Our son Tim just drove down the Forgotten World Highway (between Taumaranui and Stratford) yesterday and said it was amazing with some of the most stunning views of backcountry NZ - and what's more, you can get your passports stamped in the Republic of Whangamomona ...

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks for all your suggestions. We seem to have spent longer at the Coromandel peninsular but tomorrow we head for hot water beach than Tauranga to spend the night then to Matamata. Ian wants to do Hobbiton!!!!

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