11/03/18 – Tane Mahuta

Today, right off the bat, I had to ascend 110m in 2km. I was rewarded with a nice view of Hokianga Bay.

After that there were ups and downs, including one long 5km ascend to Waipoua Forest, but it was gradual, so no harm done.
Just yesterday I was writing about bucolic landscapes but when I entered this forest I saw how North Island used to look like. The forest seemed to be impenetrable with magnificent Kauri trees towering over. I then understood how much damage was done to the native flora, all in the name of agriculture and timber trade. Waipoua Forest now covers only about 80 km2. Although they aren’t cutting down native forest anymore, the logging is wide spread and sights it leaves after are ugly. I am not an environmental activist but those shaved off hilltops make me cringe.

I stopped to see the largest living Kauri tree in New Zealand – Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest. It’s majestic!

The day was quiet and peaceful, apart from my angry thoughts towards the logging industry and periodic preoccupations with long climbs and giddy descends.
I took me just over six hours to get to Dargaville, as Google promised. Although, I would change “mostly flat” to “relatively flat” in the Google description as there has been no flat road so far.

Today in numbers:

85 km – distance cycled
13.8 m – girth of Tane Mahuta
3rd – largest New Zealand’s export earner is timber