Monday, 2 May 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016 Anzac Day.  Today the office is closed for a National Holiday.  Anzac day is a day of remembering the soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who fought at Galipoli during World War I.  So we asked Elder and Sister Henderson to go with us to see the largest Kauri trees in the world.

We left at 7:00 a.m. and headed North to Dargaville, a small town on the northwest side of the North Island of New Zealand.  Most everything was closed because of the holiday so we kept going to Waipoua Forest.

Kathy and Nada standing next to a Kauri tree.  It is very hard to capture how huge these trees are.  They are so perfectly straight and no branches until about 10 to 13 metres up.
This forest was so peaceful and beautiful.  We only saw one other couple as we took the 45 minute walk.  There were giant Kauri trees all through the forest.  This is the most we have seen in one forest.
You can see a little better how big around and tall this Kauri is.

These two Kauri trees were like a gate to this pathway.  Nada and Kathy had to keep stopping because Reed and Jim were busy taking pictures and talking.
The bark is different on these Kauri trees and some of them had moss growing on them.  The Fern tree is quite tall but looks small compared to the Kauri tree.

Jim Henderson next to this big Kauri.  When you enter any forest with Kauri trees you have to spray your shoes and rub them on brushes.  The Kauri trees have very shallow roots and they are trying to protect them from diseases.  It is illegal to cut or damage any Kauri tree.
We thought we better have a picture of a Kiwi bird crossing.  We will not see this in any other country.  We came to this forest last June with Bruce Yerman and his Bishop to look for Kiwi birds at night.  We knew there were a few large Kauri because we could see them with the flash lights but had no idea there were this many that are so large.  We are so glad we came back to walk through it during the day. Truly worth the three hour drive. 

Kathy and Nada standing by the Four Sisters Kauri trees.

Reed and Jim by a huge Kauri.

This is a Tui bird.  They have these two little white balls on their throats.  They make a wonderfully unique sound.

Reed and Nada standing in front of the Te Matua Ngahere, Father of the forest Kauri tree.  It is the second largest Kauri tree in the world.  It was magnificent.  We are about 30 feet away from it.  I wish you could all see it in person.  It is hard to believe how big it really is by this picture.

These other two Kauri trees acted like a picture frame for the Te Matua Ngahere tree.

Reed and Nada standing in front of the largest Kauri tree in the  world.  Tane Mahita, Lord of the Forest, is over 2000 years old.  This tree is taller and bigger over all but the tree above is much wider.   

Nada and Kathy standing on a bench and Jim and Reed are 30 feet away from them taking this picture.  This tree was so AWESOME!

We finished visiting the forest and headed back to Auckland about 3:00 p.m.  We decided to take a turnoff to Bayleys Beach.  There were cars driving on the beach.  Reed drove onto the beach to park but we are not to drive the church cars on beaches so we were obedient.  It was a little tempting but we didn't.  The beach went on forever.
Reed taking off his shoes and socks and rolled up his pants legs so he could get into the water.  He just cannot pass up a chance to get in the water.
The water was beautiful but quite rough.  There were a lot of waves.  It would not be a fun swimming beach but to just walk and get your feet wet it was fantastic.

You can see a car driving on the beach.  We had to keep watching for cars while we were walking.  We walked and waded for about 40 minutes then headed home. 
We wanted to stop in Dargerville and have dinner at this restaurant, blah, blah, blah's but it never opened because of the holiday.  We ate there last June and the food was quite good.  Oh well. 

We kept driving until we got to Warkworth and had fish and chips at a local cafĂ©.  They were quite good and eating something hot was nice.  It is starting to cool off early in the mornings and evenings now.

This trip was something we have wanted to do for quite some time so we are glad we finally took time to see these magnificent trees.  They are something.  It was a long day, three hour drive each way, but totally worth it.  We arrived home after 8:00 p.m. very grateful for the beautiful trees, forests, and water we had visited today.  It was nice to spend the day with Elder and Sister Henderson as well.  They are great friends.

We hope you enjoyed seeing these beautiful trees.  You will not see them anywhere else.  If you ever come to New Zealand these are a must.

We feel so blessed to serve in such a beautiful country with so much to see and do.  New Zealand is a country we could live in but only if all our family were able to come and live with us.  We love and miss them.

Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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