Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 2 Rainbow Springs

Firstly, the stars here are amazing. I mean, the stars throughout NZ are simply beautiful and 100x better than anything I’ve seen back in the UK as you always see the milky way quite distinctly. But last night? I swear it was a star gazers dream, I completely forgot to take a picture as I just got caught up looking up.
Today I woke with the sunrise and after a quick breakfast I head out looking for the trek I wanted to do. Now I’ve mentioned before that Kiwi’s aren’t big on signposting and never was that more true than today. I ended up going down 4 wrong roads because none, NONE of them were marked on any of my maps. And, of course, there are never any road signs in NZ
 It's hard to mind getting lost when you're getting lost that's just so pretty- these trees were massive! The bushes at the bottom were over three times my height!
 I did eventually find the track though and after seeing a slightly daunting warning not to attempt it when the river was in flood or after heavy rain I set off (I should maybe mention that last night it rained… pretty heavily)

The walk to Rainbow Springs was simply beautiful and definitely one of my favourites – the foliage was stunning and the path ran right along side the river so you’d often catch a glimpse of some rapids and the soar of the crashing river was your constant backdrop.

I’m really glad I set out early in the morning too, as despite it being winter here I definitely understand why its called the ‘winterless north’ as by around 10 it really started to heat up.

Just before I got to the waterfall everything went quite quiet, until I turned a corner on the path and got COMPLETELY drenched. I suppose the heavy rain had made the waterfall play up but my glasses were a blurry mess within seconds and my top was wet through!

So I quickly went up the cliff side to get a drier view of the falls.

 The walk back flew by and the whole trek only took a few hours so I decided to venture further along the river towards the Basin Reserve as I still had plenty of time. The section was definitely harder, purely because it was intensely muddy after the rain.

There also may have been one, or two terrifying moments that the mud was just too slippery and I did a crazy little wobble/skid towards the sheer drop down the river.
Despite nearly tumbling into the river a few times when I saw a thin, muddy little track to a second, surprise, waterfall I couldn’t resist. Although I think it was wading down to the rocks that really did it for my shoes – they’re now retired in the bin

I really love it when I come across a NZ heritage sight or historic landmark, because they always just seem so new to me! This was a historic power station that, weirdly, is just open for the public!

Steadily the path widened until I ended up in a park, from here I went to the Stone Store, which is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, and the missionary buildings - all of which look lovely in the sunshine

Everyone that works there is dressed in traditional clothing – think long dresses, corsets and shawls. And they sell only locally sourced bits and pieces, including preserves and jams made from the fruit grown in the gardens. They also make sure to sell a lot of what the store would have originally sold – gunpowder tea, handmade beeswax candles etc

Really falling in love with the horizontal lifestyle here in Kerikeri – the weath certainly doesn’t harm either! Walking around in t-shirts and shorts in winter? Yes please!

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