So after my very nice stay with Sheilaugh I set off for the Kaurie Museum in Matahua (or something like that-I cannot get the hang of all these funny names). The kauri tree was the source of gum-rather like amber-which was used for lots of industries in teh 18 and 19 hudreds. Many gum diggers lived around this area and spent thier days climbing up these massive trees (they grow out and up, the biggest being 1940m around)...I was told it was a very hard life and not very well paid, but the gum looks very pretty when polished and carved! The museum had a mock up of an old boarding house, gum idggers house and various displays of the trees and how they were cut up in the mills. It was better than I'm making out.
After this I went to Waipu Forest-home of Te matahuke...the god of the forest (according to Maori), and also saw the father and four sisters-all kauri trees of various heights and widths that have made them world famous. The trees were very impressive and walking through the forest was quite calming, except when the coach full of OAPs came tramping through!
I then drove to Kiatai, where I stayed in a great hostel before carrying on my journey north to the Cape.