From SH1 north of Hikurangi we headed east again, over the hills back to the coast. Near the top of the last hill we stopped at the Helena Bay Hill Cafe and Gallery. we managed to park out on the road without being too much of a obstruction. We’d been doing very well keeping out of cafes but heard a bit about this one and decided it was time to break our drought. And it was well worth visiting. The cafe was good and the gallery was excellent. It has a very wide range of Northland and New Zealand art – the best we’ve seen anywhere. there was so much to like. It is extraordinary for a gallery in the middle of nowhere.
Eventually we dragged ourselves away and continued down the hill to the coast at Helena Bay. There’s nowhere to stay there and we continued north. Past the impressive entrance to the “house” ranked as the most expensive in the country. When Russian billionaires build $50 million holiday retreats then it does get extravagant. There is nothing to see from the road and I didn’t know where the place was but there was something about the road entrance that did announce “billionaire”.
We continued north to Oakura Bay and parked up beside the bay near the entrance to Whangaruru Harbour. It is a bay with lots of holiday houses and a sprinkling of permanent residents. We had a walk along the beach to the far end and put our feet up.
I was up early enough next morning to see the sun rise, and lovely it was too.