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And so, it was time to begin our journey south towards Auckland for our flight to Melbourne, Australia.   We drove down the west coast of the North Island, once again new territory to us.   To save mileage, we took the car ferry from Kohukohu to Rawene and made our first stop in the Waipoua Forest at Tane Mahuta, the largest living Kauri tree in New Zealand, estimated to be over 2,000 years old.  Tane Mahuta is over 51 metres tall, with a trunk girth of almost 14 metres.  It’s a whopper, that’s for sure! 

Eventually at Dargaville, we crossed to the east coast for a pleasant couple of nights in Whangerei where we explored the beaches, harbour, waterfall and quarry gardens.  

Did you notice the photo of the road sign to the cemetery in Parua?  No exit – hahaha, I guess not!