Monday, March 22, 2010

Crossing the Hokianga

It was a perfect, still, blue-skied, Far North day when I crossed the Hokianga Harbour from Kohukohu to Rawene on May 2 last year. (Approaching Rawene Wharf above).
I caught the ferry in the knick of time - I had been dawdling outside Tauteihiihi Marae at Kohukohu, taking photographs - and as I leapt aboard, I couldn't help noticing the eerie tumble of clouds perfectly reflected in the millpond waters of the harbour.
My experience of Hokianga Harbour and the surrounding landscapes is limited - basically just two trips across on the ferry. But the area is riddled with Maori history and interesting Maori settlements and one day, I hope to spend several weeks in the area, following remote side roads to discover the inner workings of the place. On last year's trip (while researching the 6th edition of Frommers New Zealand), I did manage to see a lot more but I seldom had the time to linger long, or to go too far off the main highway. Like Eastland's Tuhoe country, it's one of the few areas of New Zealand I don't know like the back of my hand and I hanker after the time to them both justice.

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