We woke on Sunday around 7.30am and realised we had survived the storm and had a reasonably good night’s sleep. Mind you, we were fairly confident we’d be okay as we were in a sheltered spot and on high ground and it didn’t seem as severe where we were as they had forecasted.
It was still raining but not nearly as heavy. Laura was keen to go to the Farmers Market at Kerikeri and so we set off midmorning. We didn’t see much sign of damage, just tree debris on the roads and of course, the rivers were high. The land up here seems to be able to soak up the water somehow, due to it having such a high rainfall no doubt.
They had advertised the market would be on wet or fine, still we were surprised to find a few brave stallholders had set up, although most were having trouble stopping their awnings blowing away. There was a good selection of vegetables but only one stall with hot food. We certainly didn’t want to linger too long. We choose some fresh vegetables and free range eggs and left.
Next it was off to visit the Stone Store built between 1832-36 and New Zealand’s oldest standing European stone building. The store was meant to house N.Z. mission supplies and large quantities of wheat but the wheat failed and it was leased as a kauri gum store. Then from 1929 onwards it worked mainly as a general store. It is still operating as a store.
Next door is Kerikeri Mission House (Kemp’s House) which is N.Z.s oldest standing building along with garden which has been tended since the house was built in 1821.
Well that was enough history for us and off to the Rainbow Falls we went, as we figured this would be a good day to see them. They certainly didn’t disappoint us. It would have been gorgeous with the sun out and making rainbows on the spray coming off the 27m drop falls but very spectacular to see them in flood.
One more tourist thing on the way home. We visited a boutique chocolate factory and watched someone putting chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate on top of a macadamia toffee slab. Yum…. We got a free taste of that and some citrus jelly. We managed to escape without buying any and decided we would come home and make our own chocolate treat (chocolate brownie).
On the way home we decided to have a peek at Paihia and Waitangi to see what damage had been done. The sea was a muddy brown colour and there was still quite a swell and we could see the debris where it had come right across the road, obviously at high tide.
The rest of the day was spent fairly quietly and we felt quite lucky to have been where we were after seeing all the damage caused up this way on TV. It rained more to the north and south of us, and there was more wind damage to the north and south as well.