|Reliable wheels Pipi the People Mover, a tank of gas, tunes and good company!|
The Story behind the Mystery Road Trip
Like lots of people, I love me a good roadtrip. A full tank of gas, some snacks, good tunes, (preferably a reliable car), and someone to keep you company – although not necessary. I also quite enjoy surprises. Moreso surprising others than being surprised myself, as I hate not knowing things and being out of the loop.
|Head out on the highway, ready for adventure…|
Thursday 12 April, I was able to combine both of those loves in an awesome daytrip adventure. My mate Mel from the Mellyboo Project had been living with me for the past 4 months, and although we started off on heaps of concert driven adventures in the summer, real life soon picked up momentum and my job working at school took over my life, as it does, we didn’t have heaps of ‘quality time’. Luckily, this was remedied before her parents arrived and she departed for her epic African adventures as my long-awaited school holidays finally arrived. I had free time again and devoted a whole day to exploring and showing her more of Northland’s lesser known beauty.
I had the whole day planned out – but I didn’t tell her what we were up to.
To make things even more interesting, Mel and I began tweeting about the day, and I created the hashtag #mysteryroadtrip. Any clues and comments about the day were given via the hashtag, just to make it more fun and something different. Something very unique to just me and Mel, especially in the far north.
#mysteryroadtrip clue- @mellyboo I’ve been to one spot heaps, the next once and the last never
#mysteryroadtrip clues were: you need togs, and you will look like a knob if you wear a wetsuit @mellyboo
#mysteryroadtrip clue @mellyboo you may bring your fancy cam
First we made a Pre-roadtrip pitstop at school to print some things for Mel.
The next Pre-roadtrip pitstop was across the street, to the Superette, where I filled up my gastank (as I knew there would be limited opportunities throughout the day – better safe than sorry!) That was Roadtrip Tip #1!
Then we were off! But to where? Mel didn’t know. I headed back towards home to throw her off. Then we turned onto Roma Road, to head down the west coast (State Highway 12)
As we headed through Herekino (a wee settlement that boasts of 1 pub, 1 school of 30some pupils, a Bed& Breakfast and a memorial hall sporadically placed) Mel made some interesting guesses as to what we were up to along the way based on the clues and information she had.
We passed my friend’s parents farm, where Mel had been before, and she ruled out visiting them. We passed through Broadwood, where we had attended the local A&P show back in February. Pitstop #3 (not to be confused with the pre-planned destination) was made at the Broadwood Four Square to stock up on some nuts and Apple Juice for the journey as I was feeling a bit peckish. After passing several signs indicating the remaining distance to our first destination, Mel guessed that we were going to Kohukohu (a spot I had been to heaps – but not since she arrived in December).
Destination Number 1
We pulled into ‘coke’ as it is often refered to by the locals and had a nosey around. Now I’d spoken to the owner of The Treehouse Backpackers, as I was arranging accomodation for an upcoming event, and he’d given me all the local gossip on how the famous Waterline Cafe had shut down, but the lady who was an amazing cook and had made it so popular had moved to the pub. They’d renovated the pub, and turned it into a nice little cafe as well now, complete with her food.
Our first stop was to fill our bellies with delicious fish n chips – and delicious they were!
On the road again
Now heading out of Kohukohu, just 4 km down the road, you’ll stumble upon the Hokianga Harbour Vehicle Ferry, which will take you across to Rawene. As if I had planned it, the ferry was just pulling up and offloading cars, and drove straight on. Not much of a wait, and we were off! Feeling the effects of the recession and the outrageous prices of petrol in New Zealand these days, it’ll sting ya $20 for your vehicle to cross one day, as well as $2 for each passenger in your car. There is an option to drive around if you’re heading to other areas around Northland, but it’s hardly worth it if you’re looking to go from Kohukohu to Rawene itself.
Our next destination was a place that I had been only once before. As we were driving there, I realised that 1) I had actually never been to Kaikohe which we had to drive straight thru to get to where we were going and 2) it was a day that my friend Ike, who works at the Westpac Bank, was in Kaikohe as well. So unplanned Pitstop Number 4 took us to the Westpac, where we popped in and surprised him!
He actually had time to go out for a coffee, so together we explored the downtown main street of Kaikohe in search of a coffee shop. We settled on Cafe Malaahi, and had a great catch up with him and his friend, a fellow primary teacher in Kaitaia. The both of them knew exactly where we were headed for Destination Number 2, based just on the clues and where we were. I may have enjoyed watching Mel squirm a bit as they made dodgey comments.
Where is this second destination of this mystery road trip? Stay tuned, and all will be revealed.
You can read all about it here!