Day 5 - Tuesday

Great Barrier Island Travel Blog

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Other side of Windy Canyon

The moon shining in my eyes at 2 in the morning was a good sign. It had stopped raining. I stayed in bed a bit longer but got up while it was still dark. I went out on the deck and was greeted by the most magnificent star-filled sky! I sat out there for a while, watching shooting starsthat rivaled the best meteor shower I’ve ever seen. When I went to make a wish, I realized that I had nothing to wish for! Nice feeling. So the day dawned with a clear sky and little wind. I headed out before dawn and made it to the Windy Canyon Lookout around sunrise. I hiked out to the panoramic viewpoint for incredible vistas in the morning sunlight. I went back to Okiwi Harbour (or rather found it for the first time), found a few birds and hung out on the beach for a while. The pounding surf from yesterday was gone, the winds quiet and I wondered why no boat? Oh well, there are worse places to be stuck! I left the beach and as I was leaving I saw a cattleman with six dogs rounding up cattle.

Checking on the bulls
Moment of the day! He stopped to chat a bit. His six dogs each had a job to do. He did have to leave one at home because that one gets the cattle all riled up and they were just doing some short moves. The dogs, like every working dog I’ve ever seen, all looked so eager and happy to work and so disappointed when it was time to quit. They all rode around in the pickup truck until the next job. He also told me that the weather was supposed to get really bad but I’ve been hearing that for a while now. It was a beautiful morning.

I drove around some more, stopped to pick up some snacks for lunch and now I sit at a park, typing on the laptop. I have some parrots called Kakas for company. Every once in a while a Tui stops by. Life is good.

For a while, it looked like the fine weather was over but it passed.

Dogs are ready to work
I drove around some more but was running out of places to go and I was tired. I tried to wait for the Boat Club in Port Fitzroy to open but couldn’t do it. So I went without dinner. It is incredibly hard to eat on this island! There are only about 3 places open at any given time since it is off season and they are about an hour’s drive from each other. In high season, there are 5 places open! I still do not understand where all the people are. The island is supposed to have 700 or so but from what I’ve seen, I would have guessed 100. I drove for 2 hours this evening on the way home and passed 4 cars going the other way. That’s it. There is no central town, no gathering place, nothing. It’s rather strange.

But the island is beautiful. Around every other turn are beautiful, vast panoramas of mountains, forests, beach, ocean and fields! Tall tree ferns and native kauri trees fill the forests. Stars fill the skies.

The word is that the ferry will be here tomorrow. I’ll check again in the morning.

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Other side of Windy Canyon
Other side of Windy Canyon
Checking on the bulls
Checking on the bulls
Dogs are ready to work
Dogs are ready to work
Kaka
Kaka
Kiwi cattleman and his charges
Kiwi cattleman and his charges
View through Windy Canyon
View through Windy Canyon
Great Barrier Island
photo by: alexchan