Posts Tagged ‘caving’

November 22, 2020

After we left Shine Falls, we drove to Wairoa where we parked on the beach for the night. We lit a fire and hung up all our laundry and it was dry before we packed up in the morning.

Some treasures from the beach

November 23, 2020

The Wairoa beach was quite wild and not that nice so we decided to top up on water and groceries and head to the Mahia Peninsula which is actually an island joined to the mainland by a tombolo. A tombolo is a sand isthmus, or joining piece that connects an island to the mainland. It first connected the island hundreds of years ago so there are estsblished communities and roads on the island.

Mahia is actually quite an upscale region and there were quite a lot of rules about camping there. So because of this, there were only a few places we could park overnight. We were hoping it would be different than that, but made the most of our time there anyway. The first place we explored was Blue Bay at the Opoutama Beach Reserve. Darren tried fishing but didn’t like how the weeds kept getting on his line, so after a bit of a play in the water and on the driftwood, we packed up and went to the other camp spot called Oraka Reserve.

Oraka Reserve is right next to an Estuary with mudflats, so that evening Darren took a light and his spear and went fishing for flounder. He came back an hour or so later with three fish! We were thrilled to finally have some success. If anyone is curious how I cooked the fish, I made a cauliflower curry recipe with some of it which can be found here: https://honestcooking.com/coconut-fish-curry-cauliflower-potatoes-recipe/

November 24, 2020

In the morning, Darren filleted the flounder. The kids found it enthralling to watch. Girl made sure to tell us, “The fish is not moving, and that is why it is dead”. We cooked up half of it for lunch ans saved the rest for later.

After filleting the flounder, we took a drive around to see where the roads on the peninsula would go. The Mahia West Coast Road went to a walking track but was only suitable for 2 tonne vehicles or under so we turned around. The Mahia East Coast Road went all the way out to the end of the Peninsula to Onenui Station where New Zealand has its very own rocket launching laboratory. The point it sits on sees the first sunrise of the world every morning. We were not allowed to go to the end, so we turned around and parked at the Whangawehi River mouth to eat lunch and had a poke around on the beach there. The views were great though. We also saw wild peacocks and turkeys.

At the rivermouth, Darren fished and the kids saw a stingray swimming, some jellyfish, and some fish. Darren managed to catch 3 kahawai that were worth keeping so that was exciting too! The little rockpools near the fishing spot had rock pool anenome that were fun to poke. Boy enjoyed poking them to make them suck their tentacles inside and below the sand and then watch as they slowly came out again.

Darren let Girl throw out the fishing line and she was surprised that she didn’t catch a fish in the first minute. She said, “I’m not good at fishing, I’m done.” and was off to go play again. Lol!

After fishing we went back to the Oraka Reserve for the night. Before bed, I did more laundry and we lit a fire to dry it over night.

November 25, 2020

We woke up to drizzly and windy and dreary weather. So, we relit the fire and did some cozy activities inside. When we were at Shine Falls Darren cut up and stored away an entire little Lusitanica tree he found that had already fallen down and dried out. This has been such a blessing despite the room it takes up. We are slowly working through it on days like this. We praise God for allowing us to find it.

Late morning we packed up and drove to Morere Hot Springs. We had lunch at the cafe and then spent 3 hours in the hot pools. Just before we decided to get out of the pools the staff said we had to leave because a tree had just fallen on one of their pipes. They offered us a refund, which meant we had a free afternoon, which was very relaxing. After showers we went back to Oraka Reserve for the evening.

November 26, 2020

So we could make the most of low tide, we headed to some rockpools. Boy and Girl went from pool to pool, looking into the water. We saw mostly seaweed and sea snails, but did manage to find a few other treasures.

We enjoyed picking up sea snails and watching them snap their shell doors shut over their bodies. We found one shell that had a translucent snail body with white stripes on it in a grey shell. It even was so brave to poke it’s head out for us so we could see it’s tiny eyes and eye stalks. We found a small red sea anemone, as well as a few hermit crabs.

Darren said he saw some sea urchins when he went farther out to throw out his fishing line. We didn’t sea any, but we did find some of their old and broken shells which were really pretty. I also enjoyed finding bits of broken glass and shell that had been smoothed by the sand.

Darren didn’t have any luck fishing, as the sea was quite wild due to the rain that fell the day before, so after a couple of hours, we went in and had a lunch made with the kahawai fish we caught the other day.

After lunch we packed up and left the peninsula. Not far away was the turn off to Mangaone Caves. It was a steep climb and then a gentle walk to get to the cave mouth. It was very muddy and wet inside, so we were only able to walk down to the bottom of the steps. However, it was still really neat to feel the damp, cool air and hear the water dripping from the cave roof. Girl was a little nervous about going into the dark, but she did great and both kids said they liked the cave.

On our way back to the main road we stopped to pick a bag full of lemons from a giant wild tree on the side of the road. They were the ugliest lemons we had ever seen, but they smelled and tasted great! Then we were off to the city of Gisborne.

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