South Out of Northland

Thursday was time to move on. We were still buzzing from our boat trip the previous day – we’d all managed a few fears. It was towards the middle of the day by the time we headed out of the marina. It wasn’t far back to Whangarei and we parked up down near the harbour basin. I unhitched the car and Andrew and I went off to do a few things; trying to find a part for a door handle for the car and getting our mail and getting some groceries. It all took a while but eventually we were done and we hitched up and headed off again. We went a short way south again, and stopped at the Uretiti DOC camp. This was the third time we’d stopped at the beach there – it is a lovely camp. I was a bit put out that someone was parked in “our” spot but we found somewhere near by – it is a huge place. The day was a bit dismal by this stage and we were content to settle down in Suzi.

Friday wasn’t much better weather-wise. We carried on south to Warkworth. Here we turned west again. There is a great lookout over the Kaipara Harbour but we couldn’t stop there because some darned milk tanker was taking up the entire parking area. In any case it was a murky day so we didn’t miss much. We had a few glimpses of the Kaipara; it’d be good to go back on a clear day. At Kaukapakapa we saluted the store – my Dad had owned/run it back in the 1940s. We stopped in a carpark down by the school for late lunch before heading on to Parakai just beyond Helensville. We called in to visit my cousins Jill and Keven here – it was lovely to catch up. We then headed around the corner to the camping ground which is attached to the hot pools. We had strict instructions to not stray onto the grass with Suzi – the ground was very wet and soft. About this stage we realised we’d managed to damage the car again. Somehow in the towing I’d twisted the A-frame a bit and wrenched one of the towing lugs on the car a lot. Darn! Just when it seemed we had the towing thing going well it all mucked up.

We got it apart and separated the car and parked Suzi without getting bogged and had a quick tea. Wyn and I were keen on a soak in the hot pools so we headed over. It was Friday night and there was some sort of doof-doof music thing for the local kids. And it was in the “quiet” best hot pool. Luckily the staff were able to offer us a private pool well away from the music so we were happy well away from the music.

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