img_2698A pleasant continental breakfast at the Sunset View followed by a trip into Dargaville to buy fuel and tea bags. Our recommendation is without hesitation to stay at Baylys rather than Dargaville, much, much nicer.

We figure that we should explore the road down into the Pouto peninsular (the north side of the Kaipara Harbour) which is a well made road for the first 30km or so after which we abandon it as it turns to metal and another 20km - each way - on metal does not appeal. What you can do however is great with magnificent views of the harbour and virtually no traffic.

There is also a curious competition between opposite houses, one with hub caps and the other flotsam. The flotsam gets our vote.

img_2706Returning to Dargaville we are in time for lunch at our favourite BlahBlahBlah cafe, still looking like the best in town but the staff and menu have changed, not quite so funky as last time.

From here it's north to Kaikohe via Twin Bridges instead of the coastal highway. Again this is a well made (mostly) road but with quite a bit of new loose chip seal which is a bit uncomfortable in places. A coffee in Kaikohe is unmemorable and the town is another that is clearly down at heal with dollar shops and pawn brokers prevalent in the main street.

A short run takes us to the Postmasters Lodgings at Rawene on the Hokianga, a charmingly restored villa with lovely four poster beds and the img_2712like. They do dinner (very good) too. Our hosts John and Dorothy are most welcoming (although Dorothy is a Winston Peters fan so avoid politics as a subject). John has bought a lathe and there is much woodturning in evidence.

Rawene is a tiny settlement and a walk around the town does not take that long (everything shuts at 4pm - just after we arrive). Dinner is over by eight and there is little else to do except blog and read a book.