The long way from Paihia to Whangaparaoa
After a restful couple of days in Paihia and the surrounding islands, it was time to hit the road again towards towards the west coast of the north island.
The first leg of the journey takes me across country to Opononi, then south along the coast through the Waipoua Forest. The weather was cold during the early hours of the morning, and started to warm up when I reached Opononi.
The Suzuki was performing well, and I was starting to develop a bond with the bike and the various quirks. My only regret so far was not having heated grips, which would of been very handy on a later stage of the trip.
The ride through the Waipoua Forest was absolutely beautiful, and I had to take the obligatory stop at the nation’s largest Kauri tree (Tane Mahuta). The road through the forest lasts approximately 15km, with lots of amazing sweeping bends and fresh rain forest smells when riding with the helmet visor open.
Following the road south east I also stopped for a visit to the Kauri Pioneer Museum, which hosts amazing artefacts made from the Kauri tree, and an amazing collection of ‘gum’ (more commonly known as amber). The entrance fee to the museum is worth every penny, and really shows the pioneer spirit and amazing variations of the Kauri tree.
After spending a great couple of hours at the museum, it was time to hit the road again, continuing to head south east towards Whangaparaoa, retracing some previous route via State highway 1. The traffic towards Auckland started to get heavier as I progressed further on highway 1, but eased when I turned off to Highway 17, and my final destination for the day at Little Manly Bay.
After unloading the bike at the hotel, it was time for another well earned dinner and a beer!