October 23, 2023 Matapouri Loop (Day 26)

Today we headed south to take a loop road to the little town of Matapouri to see the Pacific Ocean and a few waterfalls. Our first stop was to get a cappuccino and a chai latte from “That Coffee Bloke” who sets up his mobile coffee shop at the parking area at Te Haumi river along the coastal walkway. We met a gentleman walking his dog on the walkway last week who mentioned that the locals who walk the track stop there for their morning caffeine and confab to solve the world’s problems!On down the curvy, winding roads, until we came down a hill and out onto the coast at Sandy Bay. We watched several surfers trying to catch the waves.

Several surfers got up and had a few minutes of riding the wave.

Around the next bend we reached Whale Bay Walk parking area and found a spot. It was pretty busy, being Labor Day, with lots of families out to enjoy the first holiday of the summer season! We headed on the walk out to the lookout. At the beginning of the trail there are several huge trees covered in what look like bromeliads, but I don’t know what they are except exotic looking!At the lookout we could see way out across the ocean to distant islands. We spotted several sailboats.

Tiny triangles of canvas can be seen on either side of the point.

Looking down, there is a picturesque beach, but no visible means of getting there except by boat!

Following the trail down from the lookout we were able to access a tiny pebble beach on a small bay. There were two people snorkeling in the bay and I was inspired to at least get my feet wet! It was cold, but refreshing! We then crossed a little sandy spit and came onto Matapouri Bay and a beautiful beach!

The shallow sandy bottom gave the water a beautiful teal color.

Lots of people enjoying the beach today.

The trail looped back to our starting point and we enjoyed our picnic lunch at a sheltered spot on the bluff above Whale Bay. The least windy spot we’ve had lunch so far! We continued our exploration on the loop road that led to Whangarei, pronounced FANG-a-ray. In Maori ‘wh’ is pronounced with the ‘f’ sound. We took a series of side roads to Taheke Waterfall, then a short hike to the top of the falls. Unfortunately it was not photogenic from that angle. So here’s a picture of the bridge over the Taheke river.

This must be the ‘new’ bridge that replaced the old ford!

On to the second waterfall, Whangarei Falls, very close to the city of Whangarei (population about 100,500). The parking lot was filled! Lots of people, but the hike to the bottom of the falls was very pleasant.

And the falls was very impressive!

We completed the loop road and headed back north to home. We grilled some burgers and enjoyed them with the chutneys our host gave us from yesterday’s happy hour! An onion relish, a pickle relish, and some beet chutney, or as they say, beetroot chutney. Absolutely delicious.

2 Responses to “October 23, 2023 Matapouri Loop (Day 26)”

  1. Rod and Linda Charny Says:

    Is there one fish that is more popular or prevalent to eat? Swordfish is so very expensive here – is it considered just every day food there? What type of fish is the norm for fish and chips? How are the chips? (You can see what’s on my mind!) In 2002 we made our only trip to Hawaii, when Keith and Denise invited us to share their condos on Maui, Oahu, and The Big Island. We hired a guide to take us on the famed Road to Hana because it was considered too curvy for most visitors. We kept stopping so the guide could point out waterfalls. Denise asked the guide “when do we get to the good waterfalls?” The guide was a bit astounded, and replied that these were the famed magnificent waterfalls. Denise told him, “We’re from Oregon; we know what magnificent waterfalls look like, and these don’t see that great.” You know Denise: she said it innocently, just commenting, not being a smart ass. So: how do the New Zealand waterfalls stack up to Oregon’s waterfalls? (And, frankly, I could have easily driven us on the infamous curvy roads, especially after driving an RV in our mountains!)

  2. Sammy Says:

    That “f” sound for “wh” is a real surprise. I’ll try to remember it.

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