img_2718We were very pleased with the Postmasters Lodgings but I rather felt they needed to try a little more in servicing the rooms or get someone in to do it. It just let them down a little.

We caught the 9:30 ferry from Rawene and turned left on the West Coast Road, a really nice, empty road ideal for biking. It doesn't particularly go anywhere unless you're prepared for 20 or so km of gravel which the Can Am with it's belt drive assuredly is not. We've had one new belt due to a stone embedding itself and that's a pricy experience.

We got as far as the settlement of Panguru and turned back (after making the gravel road discovery and being warned off it by a local biker. Thanks. Coffee and cake with a charming lady at BK Cafe in Rangiora (just on the img_2725left after you get off the ferry). She's just got a new Harley low rider for her birthday, she said which one (birthday that is) but I won't repeat that.

The road from here to Aripara at the base of 90 Mile Beach is superb, at least for New Zealand. The surface is very debatable in parts but it's a full width and predictable with lots of interesting challenges and spectacular rural views. I'll put it into Best Biking Roads if no one else has.

We struggled to find a nice cafe in Kaitaia and concluded there isn't one in the main street. Birdies where we stopped is very 70's and the kindest thing you could say is that it needs work. My salad was fresh if unimaginative and the BLT was short on B.

We finished the afternoon with a stop at Tokerau Beach where there are an enormous number of properties for sale. Clearly they went mad with subdivisioimg_2728n at some point and flooded the market with inferior property a very long way from the beach. Someone has taken a bath.

The Old Oak Hotel in Mangonui is still charming and an excellent choice (but sadly not cheap). Dinner next door at the Acorn bistro and bar is recommended so we'll be giving that a try.

Our room has a small kitchenette and we've bought bread and so on for breakfast which makes the price seem much more reasonable.