Northland: Paihia Day Trips

I never know WHAT to expect in New Zealand…

This part of Northland, New Zealand is known as the Far North. A short drive from Paihia in any direction are heaps of surprises.

Wairere Boulders- A Geological Phenomenon

A huge volcanic eruption and massive lava flow created GIANT basalt boulders, that moved VERY SLOWLY over 2.8 million years as the underlying clay soil washed away. “Rolling” down the hillsides towards the valley floor, the boulders piled up in the river, in the position they lie in today.

Their unusual fluting developed as each boulder sat in one position for at least 1000 years before movement exposed a new surface, creating flutes that run different directions on different sides.

Kawakawa Toilets “Colorful Exuberance”

Kawakawa is a small town with famous eccentric public toilets. Designed in 1997 by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, recycled materials, including the community’s spent glass bottles and bricks were used throughout. Vegetation removed for construction was replanted on the roof.

Hundertwasser lived near Kawakawa from 1975, died in 2000, age 71. Recently built and dedicated is the Hundertwasser Memorial Park and Community Center (with fancy toilets).

Kawakawa’s store fronts exhibit ceramic columns, curves, wavy lines, irregular tiles, small sculptures and colored glass.

In 1993 Hundertwasser designed an art centre for Whangārei. After decades, the Hundertwasser Wairau Māori Art Centre, a bold and some say outrageous building, is in the final stages of construction.

Kaikohe to Opua – Bicycle Trail

43km over suspension bridges, through forest and farm scenery. Nothing spectacular, but nice to be on a bike again, despite swooping eye-pecking magpies.

Off the beaten track on Old Russell Road, we unexpectedly discovered a paradise with bush and sea views, showcasing contemporary Māori and Pacific Art

Kerikeri – Parrot Place

A bird park with parrots from all over the world. “Hello” with an Aussie accent?!

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4 thoughts on “Northland: Paihia Day Trips

  1. Glennie Bowland March 14, 2021 — 12:32 am

    As you know, I’ve been most of these places and loved them as much as you do! I remember well the “toilet” in Kawakawa and Kerikeri was one of our fave places. (There was a fruit stand there that was fantastic!) We bought a funny little car from another yachtie in Opua and tootled around in it most every day! Your pics are wonderful!

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