Heather Hapeta lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand: real travel, real adventures, real stories, real photos. Recent destinations Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong – now NZ destinations due to COVID travel restrictions
I have been warned by my TomTom (GPS/route planner) “Warning: your destination is on an unpaved road” it told me.
Leaving the eco-cottages I was staying at in Kerikeri I’d entered the address 476 Puketi Road (Northland, New Zealand) which is about 30 minute drive away: I’m off on a night walk with Adventure Puketi .
When I reach the ‘unpaved’ road I also warned about cows and children!
It seems that sharing the secrets of the forest is a passion for Ian and Barbara Candy and their team of Adventure Puketi guides, one of whom I went out with and her knowledge of the flora and fauna in the environment was shared with enthusiasm. They are Department of Conservation (DOC) approved for guided walking tours of the Puketi Rain Forest.
Don’t ever think the forest is silent just because it’s dark; our walk started in the waning light and finished in the dark.
So what can you see and or hear on this walk? Here’s the list of creatures that I saw: eel, koura, (fresh-water crayfish) owls, glow-worms, weta, and numerous varieties of spiders. Add the ancient kauri, other trees, shrubs and the night sky and the evening is a real treat.
How the walk I did worked was – start off in the light, get introduced to the bush when we could see it, then we turned around and walked the same track in the dark seeing how it differs and the residents change, become visible, or audible.
The ‘winterless north is great, but what do you call a cross between a rural resort, a farm-stay, a holiday club and a homestay? Why Kahoe Farms Hostel of course!
I arrived here this morning and I’ve been hiking in the bush behind this 1930s homestead; (the other one is from the 19thC. and both were built by the owners family)I’ve also been resting; downloading nearly 8 gig of photos and started the new collection of Northland pics; watched my fettuccine being made for dinner, and talked to the ugly, but v cute kunikuni pigs – and no, they will not be on the menu – ever!
Kahoe Farm Hotels started when a Kiwi met an Italian in London and they came back to NZ to the family farm . . . started by Lyndsay’s Swedish great-grandfather who ‘jumped ship’ in the local harbour when his fellow sailor’s were heading back out after whales – the rest, as they say, is history.
Of the people staying here, one couple from The Netherlands are back for a 2nd visit in a year; an American surfer is also back for a second time, and a Frenchman is on his way up from Auckland, also a repeat visitor … says it all doesn’t it! More of that story in a later blog or print article.
Last night I went for an interactive hike in the forest too, with Adventure Puketi. The bush a different place once the sun sets and our guide was full of great information – some of that to be revealed to you in a blog once I get home and work through all the work I have to do. Seems the daytime version of the walk is a hit with people off cruise ships.
Having my GPS with me has been helpful in finding my way around here in Northland as I love to get off the beaten track – my trusty rental car has been great
So, as its been for the past week, here are some photos to whet your appetite for more later on: