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The “Lord of the Forest”, Sandboarding and Heaven on Earth

Day 3- The “Lord if the Forest”, Sandboarding and Heaven on Earth

After our late night rendezvous with the kiwis it was hard to rouse the kids. Luckily, the call of tubing down the river and rope swinging into the swimming hole was a quick pick me up. We enjoyed all the fun the campground had to offer before setting off to see Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, the largest Kauri tree in the world. 

‘I have stood at the huge buttressed feet of Tane Mahuta. It is surrounded by other enormous trees, but it makes them seem ordinary. Its trunk rises out of the gloom like an iceberg in the Southern ocean. The mass of epiphytes it holds aloft in its great spreading boughs is a fantastical, floating garden. It must have supported entire dynasties of lizards and invertebrates who never went anywhere else and must have thought, if they could think at all, that Tane Mahuta was the whole world.’ (Colin Tudge, The secret life of trees: how they live and why they matter. London: Penguin Books, 2006, p. 102)

Following our brush with the infinite we took a drive to Hokianga Harbor to enjoy some of the ridiculous–sand boarding. Oh what fun. The whole family climbed up and slid down the dunes into the harbor again and again and again. What a great afternoon!  Smiles all around. 

Listening to the Hobbit we drove across the island from the west to the east coast stopping for a grocery run. Eventually we ended up at the beautiful Bay of Islands and took the ferry over to Russell to Tapeka Point- our home for the next three days. We all gaped in wonder at the property, the view and the private bay that were ours for the next few days. Really??  Everyone was ready to take up permanent residence. Amazing. After unpacking we jumped in the kayaks and the whole family paddled out into the Bay of Islands. Solace and solitude in what must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Heaven.