Our great journey to the far north began today, travelling past half buried aircraft, huge ‘up-in-the-air legs’ (see photos – your guess is as good as mine!) to Awakino Point, part of Dargeville. While we were there it was faintly reminiscent of a wild west town – main street, shops and not much else – but we were struck by how friendly the locals were.
On the way we stopped at the Kauri Museum at Matakohe. Karis are huge trees which used to be common in this area and apart from being prized for their exceptionally durable and attractive timber (there are planks here from trunks buried for 46,000 years), they also excrete a gum which sets like resin from pines, was used widely in Lino, paint and varnishes and was found in dead forests underground. This amber like resin was mined by Gum Diggers which have passed into New Zealand folklore.
The evening meal was a huge Chinese Takeaway. The new diet stars in earnest tomorrow.