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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Day 56 - Tuesday 31st July - Waipoua Forest to Te Hana

Today has been another wet day here in Northlands so it has been a journey of museums today.

Our first stop was at Dargaville Museum where we learnt about the gum digging heritage of this area. In the late 1800's you could make as much money out of gold in New Zealand as you could gum and Amber. Thousands flocked here for the gum diggers rush especially many from Dalmatia area in Eastern Europe.

Gumdiggers village

Dargaville township and river

There was a large maritime exhibition as well with a huge Maori canoe.

A model boat in the museum
We had lunch in Dargaville before continuing south to the Kauri museum. Kauri being the huge trees found in the Northlands. 

Interesting rock formation whilst driving to the Kauri Museum

Same rock formation again, a miniature mountain

In the museum there was a lot of antique Kauri furniture, some huge Kauri stumps, Kauri carvings and lots of history about the trees. The Europeans felled the majority of the trees to make way for farmland but beneath the swamps/farmland they have been finding a fallen forest from a tsunami or earthquake thousands of years earlier. The oldest carbon dated wood they have found was 300,000 years old and the largest about 6-7m in diameter!!!!

Me sat on a carved Kauri trunk seat

This is the centre of an entire Kauri trunk, see how long it is!

The rings on the wall mark the diametres of trees or tree stumps that have been found in New Zealand

Luke enjoying his comfortable seat on a carved Kauri trunk

Our next stop was Te Hana where we saw an art gallery full of Kauri carvings and then we backtracked a little further north to a farm campsite. We are sleeping next to cows and llamas tonight!

En route to Te Hana

Our llama next door neighbours

Luke befriending the farm dog

The sunset over the farm

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