An early start this morning (no problem as I’d been awake for hours) to drive north to the Kauri museum, which highlighted not only the vast size of the Kauri tree but also showed the life of pioneers and settlers in New Zealand in the late 1800s. I thought I packed a lot of gadgets, clothes and toiletries but peering into reconstructed Victorian rooms, it surprised me just how much the pioneers must have brought from England when they settled in New Zealand so they would feel at home in a new country. The worked and polished Kauri wood gave a very warm, rich brown feel and texture to the furniture homes and wood panelling but part of me thought it a shame such ancient and vast forests that had been there for centuries were cut down to satisfy our needs.
After a picnic lunch we drove to the Kai Iwi lakes where we had booked a self-catering lodge for the night. The clouds dissipated and the sun was lovely and warm as we walked around lake Taharoa; a hike that took us over two hours through Manuka trees, silver ferns and many other plants that edged the lake in varying shades of green and silver. It was very enjoyable walking to the background music of fantails, minor birds and the click, click of cicadas.