Cave life and volcanism on the North Island of New Zealand

Journey to the North Island of New Zealand. Part 3.

We spent the last week in the parks near Auckland, each of them huge, so you spend a whole day on an outing, and to complete our magical journey, we drove to the very north of the island.

January 9, 10, 11, 2016.

Tawharanui Regional Park.

North of Oakland there is a lovely beach at Tawharanui Park. The waves are made for boarding. That’s what we went for!

On the way we wanted to visit an oyster farm, but as we drove up we saw a sign that said “Due to rain the owner closed the farm early”, and it was only 12 pm).

For us, Russians, it was kind of weird to watch all the locals at 5 pm coming home with full bags from the supermarkets or they have already occupied all the cafes around. Many of them work from 10 a.m. on. None of our Russian friends can figure out how they manage to live like this. And they live, by the way, not bad, the standard of living can be seen with the naked eye – high.

Bordeaux for riding on the waves, they also come in handy when riding on the sand dunes, can be purchased at any large hardware supermarket. Are not expensive, and the fun of them for $ 1000, no less!

Shakespear Regional Park & Gould Reserve.

Within Oakland’s city limits is this beautiful piece of nature. There’s a huge playground for active games, there are barbecue areas, hiking trails, and no small beach. We walked the track around the coastal hump, our men in a kayak tried to fish, but it didn’t work out as the ocean was stormy. The park is made for the perfect outdoor recreation.

One day we asked one of our friends – what do you lack here for a complete happy life? Because he was one of the few Russians who had a longing for his homeland in his eyes. And he, on reflection, said that he lacked the wildness of places, he lacked places where there were no roads, everything was too elaborate for tourism, everything was in the signs, even in the deep woods. And not enough of the fact that you can not make an open fire. And it’s true, there are campsites where you can’t even cook on an open fire from a burner.

Well, actually, as opposed to say, that I just do not need all of this to rest. I need comfort, I need to be in the woods to be able to take a shower, that walking on the trail in the woods I realized that I do not wander in a circle, not to look for a bush, which need to go to the toilet. Our opinion with my husband is that New Zealand is perfect for tourists. For those who like a milder climate and a rougher surface – the north island, for those who like solitude, wild untouched nature and often sub-zero temperatures – the south island.

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Another stationary barbecue. The gas is turned off every 5 minutes, which makes it safe if someone forgets to turn off the fire.

On January 11, our friends went out to their jobs, and we had to make up our own entertainment. We drove around, swam in the lake and the sea, and got ready for our next 2-day trip to the north of the island.

Local currency. The NZ dollar is 1.5 times cheaper than the U.S. dollar. Birds on all bills from the fact that this country is a haven for birds, due to the fact that there are no wild animals here at all.

After visiting a few parks near Oakland memorable 2 cases very striking to us Russians, which describe the local population and our general impression of the country:

1) We wanted to cook meat on a stationary barbecue. Someone had cooked on it before us and there were leftovers. The ranger walking past us noticed this, came over and said – wait a few minutes, I’ll get you some foil to cover the surface;

2) We were unloading from the car and going to get something to eat, there was a group of five families around us, with a bunch of little kids. While we were unpacking and thinking about where to spread out, a woman from that company came up to us and said: “Don’t mind that we’ve taken up everything here, when you eat, we’ll move over.”

It’s little memories like that that make up a picture of how civilized people behave a little differently after all.

Just a picture of Oakland. This is where people come out for lunch to get a bite to eat, frying sausages and the like. It brings tears of envy.

Our New Zealander friends told us that we had never had meat this good in our lives, we were not fooled!

The local ice cream is very good. You buy a scoop of ice cream and you can pile on a mountain of toppings for free.

Cape Reinga, Kaitaia, 90 Miles Beach, Cable Bay (Golden Beach), Mangonui, Glow Worm in Kawakawa

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Before we left we wondered if we really needed it. Half a day on the road, because we are leaving in 2 days. But, in Russia we decided we want to go there, so we did. If you are in the same doubts – cast them away! Go!

We left Auckland at 11:30 a.m. and we made it right. We arrived at the cape at 5 p.m., which was great as there weren’t too many people around. And the pictures are beautiful with the setting sun.

The road to the North was very different, more intense. It was clear that the climate here was milder, and plants were more diverse and somehow brighter. This is the territory of local nationalities, going to the supermarket you feel a midget, as natives are very large in height and width, and look so distrustful of you – white immigrant brother, so that immediately want to run away).

What we experienced at the edge of the island – nothing compares! Beautiful lighthouse, approaching it you hear the sound of crashing waves, and then you see how far into the ocean the waves of the two elements crash into each other. The place where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea collide, the water one blue, the other azure. The energy is amazing! You feel the power of the universe flowing into you!

After the cape we went to the dunes. We were amazed, well, where did they come from, a huge piece of land is covered with mountains of sand. My husband went on board, said that it was fun, but then he was spitting sand till evening and shook it off everywhere. From the cape to go to the dunes is about half an hour. If you do not have with itself a board there you can take it on hire. Beside us from barchans children rolled down, fun and squealing had no limit!

At dusk we came to Kaitaia, rented a house for $ 140 Waters Edge B&B, very cool, just recommend it. The owner is a funny guy from South Africa. He made our evening, the humor was very much like ours, with fire. In the morning we had breakfast waiting for us in the wonderfully furnished living room.

In the morning we drove to the 90 mile beach, we wanted to drive on it, but after reading a bunch of signs warning that without a 4WD there is nothing to do, we did not take any chances with our front wheel drive. We took a walk on the beach. The interesting thing about the beach is that everywhere you look, neither to the right nor to the left – there is no end or edge to it. We wanted to swim, but the strongest wind blew and it seemed to us that it would be cold.

Wismar. Attractions, monuments and practical information

Then we went to Mangonui to taste the local fish, because only lazy man hasn’t recommended to visit the famous World Famous Fish Shop.

Passing by Cable Bay, we almost lost our heads, what a magical beach we saw there. The beach of pink sand! Huge waves coming up right by the shore! Somewhere there are a lot of small barnacles from which grinded this pink sand. We of course climbed into the water, and whoosh, how we were so much bumped! I scraped my hands and knees to the point of bleeding, so there I was twisting. But all the excitement of the experience made up for the small wounds! :)

World Famous Fish Shop. Well, as usual, strongly advertised place. It stands out that they cook you everything just caught in the same bay.

They fed us deliciously, but as they like it, all fish and shrimp they dipped in batter)))) The monsters! But the place is really wonderful. The terrace of the restaurant hangs over the sea water, yachts are swimming around, seagulls are begging for food and take it right out of your hands. It’s an amazing place with ordinary food, I would say so.

Further down the road, we happened to see a sign for Glow Worm near Kawakawa. Without thinking for a second we turned there, it was also a must-see item on our itinerary. But we had no idea we would like it so much!

We and a group of 8 people with children from Serbia were on the tour. The entrance cost 20 NZD per person. You can not take photos inside, it is not good for the worms. The group is led by 2 guides, one in front, the second behind, light the way for tourists with dim LED lights. To see the luminous worms you are led into the stalactite cave. This sight alone was already worth the money. Amazing show – vaults of 15 meters in height, water dripping quietly from the height, and you are walking on a boardwalk in the semi-darkness. Our nice guide told us that for 4 generations his family has been taking tourists through this cave. When we went deeper the guides stopped and turned off their flashlights. And we were in a fairy tale, in Avatar… There were myriads of glowing blue dots all around, so many of them that it seemed as if you were looking at a starry sky! Gradually my eyes got used to it and I could see a little bit of my neighbors. Certainly another wonder of nature!

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We saw so many wonders in those two days that we came absolutely overwhelmed with emotion! Very cool northern part of the island!

Of what is worth highlighting, we were also at Karekare beach, I think that is also part of Oakland, there beach is black very soft volcanic sand. It’s hard to walk without flip flops, you can get your feet burnt. And how comfortable the waves are there! Not too deep, but not too shallow, wave after wave – on board to ride – perfect!

Mysterious structures of New Zealand.

Caymanawa Wall.

In the heart of the North Island of New Zealand is Lake Taupo. Around the lake there are untouched wild forests, which have been declared the Kaimanawa Forest Park.

Lake Taupo.

Lake Taupo was formed on the site of a giant volcano crater. In the 1990s, thirty kilometers from this lake in the woods, next to the road, tourists discovered the mysterious ruins of a once gigantic structure. This mysterious place is widely known in New Zealand as the Kaimanawa Wall.

Lake Taupo.

The ruins became visible, apparently as a result of the rains eroding the soil under the roots of a huge tree standing on a hill. Part of a wall built of rectangular stone blocks, each about one meter high, about two meters long and weighing several tons, has been exposed. Some of the blocks are fitted to each other with jewel-like precision. In these places of masonry between giant blocks even the blade of a knife cannot stick through, but some of them have separated, and between them there are gaps in some centimeters, which can be explained by uneven settlement of the foundation under blocks.

Caymanawa Wall.

There is a straight, horizontal line between the masonry of the lower and upper row of blocks. There is speculation that the wall is the only visible part of a much larger structure buried under volcanic ash from the volcano.

Caymanawa Wall.

There are three main theories about the origin of the wall:

  • The Kaimanawa Wall was built about two thousand years ago by the first settlers of New Zealand, known as the Waitaha, who were later exterminated by the Maori.
  • The wall is the remnant of a hospital built 50 or more years ago.
  • It is simply a natural rock formation.
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A future study of the Kaimanawa wall will undoubtedly reduce this list to one item. However, the fact that there is a beech tree growing on one section of the wall, which has a girth of 2.9 meters, greatly reduces the likelihood that it is 50 or a little more years old. Curiously, the Maoris never built any stone structures except small stone altar altars – “tuahu”.

Caymanawa Wall.

Evidence for the fact that New Zealand was already inhabited before the Maori arrived here, is multiplying every year. In the early 1990’s, Doug Sutton, an archaeologist from Auckland, concluded from the abundant evidence of ancient logging for economic purposes and unexplained “erosion” of the soil, that human activity in New Zealand began 2,000 years ago. In 1997, a stone sculpture of a woman 2.7 meters high was found in the dunes near Northland, possibly the goddess of an unknown people who inhabited New Zealand before the arrival of the Maori.

Caymanawa Wall.

One of the biggest mysteries of New Zealand is associated with the archaeological excavations in the Waipua forest that have been going on for the last thirty years. It is unknown what archaeologists found there, but the fact remains that in 1988 the government of New Zealand passed a decree classifying the results of excavations for 75 years.

Waipua Forest

This has caused a storm of indignation throughout the country. The legality of the ban on the publication of archaeological information was hotly debated in the press, in Parliament, indignant letters flowed from all over the country to the National Archives. The government clumsily justified itself and explained its position by “political interests”. But the fact remains that the document signed by the head of the work archaeologist Michael Taylor, contains 14 pages of so-called secret text and imposes restrictions on the part of the information associated with field reports on archaeological excavations in the forest of Waipua in 1979-1988, which can not be published until 2063.


What is the mystery that archaeologists have discovered in the forest of Waipua? According to some witnesses, it is a huge, consisting of more than 2 thousand buildings Domaorian city, built of stone, spread over an area of 500 acres. Witnesses swear that Ned Nathan, head of the New Zealand Archaeological Advisory Committee, upon reading the results of the radiocarbon analysis, exclaimed loudly: “That’s 500 years before we got here!” Who’s “they”? The Spanish? Portuguese? The Chinese? The Malays? The Incas? Apparently, we’ll find out in 2063.

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