The Spiritual North

The Spiritual North

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We made it up to the northern tip of New Zealand and boy am I glad we did. It’s beautiful.

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Spirit bay is such a special beach, it’s rural and rough but pretty and perfectly formed.

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The tannins from leaves dye the river water a transparent reddish brown colour but once it reaches the ocean it adopts a turquoise tone.

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I met the real life spongebob. Life goals ✔️

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The combination of shells ground up by the ocean create a beautiful carpet of multicoloured loveliness. 

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A reminder that we are roaming on volcanic land.

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Any excuse.

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It’s time to head right up to the northernmost tip; Cape Reinga.

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The light shone at Cape Reinga for the first time in 1941 and it is the first light you see when coming in from the Tasman Sea and Northern Pacific ocean.

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This is where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. Maori believe that these turbulent waters signify the male sea Te Moana Tapokopoko a Tawhaki meeting the female sea Te Tai o Whitirela (Maori is one language I wouldn’t fancy learning). The clashing of the currents are like those who dance in the wake of a waka (the canoes in which the Maori arrived); they represent the coming together of male and females and the creation of life.

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Seeing the renowned kauri trees was something that was most definitely on our list whilst in this neck of the woods, especially with Luke slowly turning into a full blown tree fanatic. 

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It’s very difficult to illustrate the scale of this tree in a photograph as you are kept at a distance but this is Tane Mahuta, the largest living Kauri tree in New Zealand. The trunk height is 17.7 metres, total height being 51.5 metres with a girth of 13.8 metres. It is truly gigantic. It’s hard to tell how old it is exactly without chopping it down but experts believe that it is approximately 2000 years old. Depending on your beliefs, this tree could have been a young sapling when Christ walked the earth. Imagine what it could tell you if it could speak.

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In Maori cosmology, Tane is the son of Ranginui, the sky father and Papatuanuku, the earth mother. Tane tore his parents apart breaking their primal embrace to bring light, space and air and allowing life to flourish. They believe that Tane is the life giver and all creations are his children.

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At one time this forest would have been full of Kauri trees, ones perhaps much bigger than Tane Mahuta but unfortunately humans got greedy and destroyed the majority of this forest long ago to sell this strong, precious and unique wood at a very good price.

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Yakas – trunk height 12.04 metres, total height 43.9 metres, girth 12.29 metres. 

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Luke loves a good tree. 

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This has been a lovely last look at New Zealand’s incredible natural environment. Now it’s time to spend a few days in bustling Auckland before heading to the slightly warmer South Pacific for some quality beach time. Life can’t be that bad or as Richy says: ‘where did it all go wrong?’

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