Exploring the Kaipara Harbour

on March 31, 2013

In the past few months our fishing missions have taken us to Pouto a few times. It's right at the entrance of the Kaipara Harbour, at the very tip of the Pouto Pensinsula. Stunning scenery with a beautiful and neverending beach as well as massive sanddunes, friendly people and easy fishing even more newbies like me.

Having a long weekend with Easter and all we thought it would be a good idea to go back there and hopefully catch heaps of fish for dinner. It's a long drive from Waipu to Pouto, but definitely worth it. The entrance to the harbour is called "the graveyeard" as 113 ships have shipwrecked here in the past due to a massive sandbar. Locals have told us there's a way around the sandbar but it's quite a detour. According to the local website the most recent shipwreck dates back to 1994.

One thing I've been wanting to do ever since we first went to Pouto was go and see the lighthouse. Unfortunately it's a few kilometers down the beach and we never had enough time to walk there - and back. Again we made it to Pouto in the late afternoon so a bit too late. BUT this time the tide was just right for us to take Pebbles, our little Rav, onto the beach and drive to the lighthouse. You can do so two hours either side of low tide but it is recommended you have a 4WD! Matt was a bit worried we'd get stuck but I have to admit I didn't care. Remembering my 4WD adventures in Australia on Fraser Island I wanted to feel the thrill again *heehee*

After talking to a bunch of locals and getting some reassurance we'd be sweet as we took off...

It was sooooo much fun *woohoo* We had to be careful, though, because there is quite a bit of quicksand around. But the locals said to just boost through it - so we did. Gosh you have to be there to experience the feeling =D The lighthouse is about 12 kilometers down the beach so it took us a while to get there. Actually we almost drove past it because it is hidden up high behind the sanddunes. We only noticed because some other guys took their truck up on the sanddunes and we were wondering what the heck they were doing.

We tried to take the Rav up to the lighthouse, too, and actually made it half way up!!! Then we got stuck *lol* And had to turn around. Parked it at the bottom and walked up - and MAN she was steep! Even Matt was pumping by the time he made it to the top (I beat him because he was chatting away with some locals *g*)

The lighthouse itself isn't very special at all - but the view definitely is! Next time we go I'd love to book a quad tour and race around in  the sanddunes *heehee*

We ended our day - not with fishing but with a yummy bbq at the beach. T-Bone, baked potatoes, corn... a Kiwi stlye feast :-) Gotta catch some fish next time, but with the tide being so low there wasn't much chance of catching anything.

If you'd like to see more pictures of Pouto and the Kaipara Harbour - including snapshots Matt took while he was fighting a fire in the bush - follow this link...

Winter in Germany

on March 15, 2013

It's the last night with my family here in Germany today. After a farewell dinner at our favourite Greek restaurant tonight I'll travel on to Nürnburg tomorrow and after another short stopover will be going back home on Wednesday.

The last 2 weeks were a bit like travelling back in time. Nothing much seems to have changed around here except that everybody got a bit older *lol* My grandma asked me last week how many people I've met while I was here. To be honest - I've lost count. But I really enjoyed seeing every single one of them again. Talking to former schoolmates, colleagues, friends and relatives (and seeing their children for the first time!!!) and even being able to sing once again with the Little Lights of LE was worth the trip.

There's lots of pictures here if anyone would like to see :-)

The hardest thing was saying goodbye to my grandma knowing it probably was the very last time I got to see her. Already she's back in hospital where I spent a few more hours with her today. I wish her well, but I'm too realistic to think she'll be there forever...