A grey morning soon gave way to lashing rain, which continued, off and on, for most of our journey south. This IS winter, after all.
First stop was to replace a broken windscreen wiper.
Second stop was for coffee and a wait for the Hokianga ferry, a fifteen minute ride on a tiny car ferry. It was raining so hard that even the pied cormorant hunched miserably on a post seemed to lose interest in fishing.
Third stop was to visit New Zealand's largest kauri tree in Waipoua forest. The kauri can grow up to 50 metres tall and 16 metres in girth, living for more than 2000 years. This tree, Tane Mahuta, is 1500 years old and is 51.5 metres high. Impressive as it was, it was surrounded by an exotic jungle of ferns and trees of the rainforest.
It was still raining, so we abandoned a planned long walk and took a shorter one.
Last stop was just after it had stopped raining. We drove to Tokatoka, an extraordinary volcanic outcrop which is very significant to local Maori.
The rain had changed a steep uphill scramble into a series of muddy steps which required a careful balancing act...but the view from the top was indeed spectacular....see below.
And so we continued - through the rain - to our bach at beautiful Scandrett Bay.