Thursday, Feb 4, 2016
It was a warm relaxed morning. We packed up the van and went to the highly rated “Replete Cafe and Store” in Taupo. It was only a only a few kilometres from our campsite and it lived up to its reputation. I had a couple of eggs on multigrain bread and a Cappuccino. Cheryl had the scrambled eggs on focaccia bread with a side dish of mushrooms. The selection and the service was excellent.
With full stomachs, we headed to Rotorua to see the redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest. These are California Redwoods that were imported in the early 1900’s, and although they aren’t as old as many of the ones in California, they are still very impressive.
The forest has several hikes and they have just added a tree walk in December of 2015 and I think that it is well worth the $25 price for the experience.
The tree walk starts at the entrance and winds through the trees in a circular pattern.
They used ” Macrocarpa “, which is an exotic wood that grows in New Zealand, for the walkway and the platforms around the trees. The platforms are fastened to galvanized-dipped steel rings, which are secured around the trees.
Macrocarpa has a nice light colour and it is very weather resistant so that it does not need to be sealed or coated. As you can see in the following picture, they made several suspended walkways with Macrocarpa, stainless steel, aluminum and synthetic netting over long stretches between the trees.
They have slings around the tree and they plan to re-adjust them every 3 years as the trees expand. They would do it more often, however, the redwood bark is easily compressible and it will absorb some compression.
While we were there, we saw some maintenance men in the process of checking all of the nuts, bolts and support equipment on the walkway. We talked to the two men and got information on the walkway, as well as, their safety equipment and their maintenance procedures.
After having walked the ” Red ” trail and the walkway, we left the park to go to Mt. Maunganui. This is a relatively small mountain on the east coast at the end of a peninsula. The climb was not very difficult and the views from the top were magnificent.
This is a view of the town named after the mountain, as well as the neighbouring town, Tauranga.
There were also a few cliff gliders. This fellow was showing off, by swooping past the people on the mountain and at one point his feet touched the brushes near us.
We walked back down the mountain and decided to have dinner at the ” Talk of India ” restaurant in Tauranga. The food was excellent. I had a hot spicy lamb dish called ” Lamb Bhuna “, which is the chef’s favourite and Cheryl had a spicy chicken dinner. We left the restaurant by 7:00 pm and we finally had an early evening to return to our campsite and relax a little before the sun set.