Ruakaka on the East coast first stop. Always a great place for shorebirds and sea birds. Walking through the estuary and mangroves at low tide I came upon two spoonbill preening themselves on a dead tree with a white faced heron. So this is where they roost after feeding.
Always looking out for banded rail in these mangrove areas. Not many godwit this time but thousands of fluttering shearwater out to sea.
Pied stilt feeding at high tide.
Then North to the Tutukaka coastline always a favourite. Beachfront at Whangamu. Walked the coastal track via the lookout to Ngungaru.
At Matapouri the clifftop walk to Whale bay is always a must. Swimming at Whale bay perfectly refreshing clear water on a very warm day. Tawapou grows here a tree found on the off shore islands.
Then north to Kawakawa to drop in on the Bay of Islands heritage railway for coffee then on to stay at Russell. Its very hot about 30C so plenty of swims at Long Bay over the hill from the town.
Then across to the West coast to Koutu Point near Opononi. Must be the best view if the Hokianga water on three sides. Thanks to the couple we met at Matheson's Bay a few weeks back for recommending this site.
Then south past the sandy beaches of Opononi through some amazing landscapes to the Waipoua forest then a first to Bayly's beach on the wild and rugged west coast.
Then Ruawai The name literally translated from Maori means 'two waters' referring to the nearby Northern Wairoa River and Kaipara Harbour. The boat ramp is always interesting at this time of the year to watch white fronted terns feeding their young.
The little 1889 Zion church just off the road between Ruawai and Pahi is always worth a stop. Sadly each time I visit the church has deteriorated more. I guess its a case of note enough money to restore it. Although the lawn surrounding is well rimmed so someone must be regularly visiting.
And Pahi what a delightful little place. Always a hive of activity particularly watching the regular oyster boats toing and frowing the the old Pahi hotel.
More to follow....................