Monday, 20 July 2015


Cat and Andy were up at 4.30 on Friday 17th - off to see the sunrise at Cape Reinga. The Cape lies at the northernmost tip of New Zealand, marked by a lighthouse.

Lighthouses have been a bit of a theme for the two of them, as they first met on a trek to the lighthouse at Cape Brett at the end of December last year.

Image result for cape reingaImage result for cape brett

We visited Cape Reinga two years ago, so we declined the invitation to join them. Just as well.

Instead, we packed up and then journeyed north in the family pick up to meet them at Henderson Bay, where the family farm is. Andy's mother's family, the Subritzky and Wagener families, were amongst the earliest pioneers in this region, and there are reminders in road names as well as the Wagener Holiday Park at Houhoura.

Then, off to the bach (pronounced batch) in Allan Dow's pick up. We drove through the farm towards Mt Camel, walking the last few hundred yards with our gear to the tiny cottage nestled at its foot.  
Houhora inlet from the bach
The bach, with old sheep-shearing shed next door, is a simple holiday home which has been in the family for generations. No electricity, drinking water from the rain tank and washing water, heated in an old fashioned copper when baths are needed, from the stream. A log fire and a covered verandah completed this restful place in an idyllic situation. (For us old Kenya hands, it felt a little like camping in the solitude of fig tree camp at Lake Bogoria, without the flamingoes, greater kudu or leopard.
Cat and Andy
Abstract tree...and, somewhere, a white-faced heron

 An old pohutukawa tree, perched over the water's edge, provided the perfect place for a hammock - at low tide. (The next morning, as the water lapped the edges of the meadow, we waded the stream to begin the trek out.)

A walk along the edge of the inlet provided amazing views and interesting treasures...
Not Mr Fish's best side...

Then, back to Ahipara and to meet Andy's parents, Sue and Allan...
Ahipara beachfront

Ahipara sunset
Family time indoors

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