December 27th, 2011 – by: travelmate48
Treaty of Waitangi building
I caught the Intercity from Auckland to Pahia and stayed at Captain Bob's backpackers. From Paihia I cycled over to Waitangi where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, but decided not to do the entry of $25, as it was too late in the day. I caught the ferry over to Russell and walked the streets. I found the oldest church in NZ, Christ Church (1836), the oldest petrol station, (1930), but I didn't didn’t bother finding the second oldest game fishing club in the world,
Next day, the Dune Rider Tour I took was great. Our first stop was a quick morning tea/toilet at a resort café, where we picked up our freshly prepared lunches, then to the Gumdiggers Park where we saw what life was like for the early people who made a living digging up the kauri gum (copal).
We also saw a newly exposed kauri log, which had been buried in the swamp for 30,000 years. It has started to deteriorate. We continued on to Cape Reinga
to the lighthouse and had a view of the most northerly point of New Zealand. The bus then drove down a river that flows to the sea on a bed of sand. It was there that we did sandboarding. It was raining, so everyone got wet and the sand was even more slippery. The river was at the bottom of the sandhill so the object was to try to continue on and cross the river! I had two goes but I only got half way across, and got thoroughly wet. We followed the river to the sea and waited there till the tide went out further because we had to drive through the surf and around some exposed rocks! We drove along the 90 Mile Beach and back onto the “tarseal” to visit the Ancient Kauri Kingdom where they sold things made out of buried kauri. The timber is still in perfect condition after all that time. In their showroom they had a huge log into which had been carved a spiral staircase and you could go up through the middle of it to get to a mezzanine gallery where they sold rather inelegant chunky wooden things like bowls and sculptures. After that we stopped at the “world-famous” Mangonui Fish Shop. I went for the $8 for the “one piece of fish, and some chips” deal.