Chaplog tries hard In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Waipoua Forest

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 12:58 am

Waipoua Forest-0974

The Kauri Forest – Waitpoua

On the 18th of December we moved to Miranda bird sanctuary. We rented a nice cabin and dried out all my wet diving and our camping gear. I found the books I had been looking for to identify ferns and trees in the little shop. We spent the afternoon in the hide getting some help with identifying the wading birds near to the shell banks. We then moved to Waipoua Forest on the 19th. The camp-site was in a beautiful setting but the facilities left something to be desired. I walked from the camp-site to the lookout point which was a difficult walk, muddy and a lot of exposed tree roots and I tripped on a root and lost skin, dignity and my sunglasses. I went back for the sun glasses.

The photographs


Coromandel Far North

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 4:18 am


Stony bay Coromandel

We travelled From Tutukaka on the 12th of December and stayed on a camp-site just outside of the town Coromandel. It had a little beach facing west. The roads from here were gravel and it took an hour and a half from the campsite to get to the end of the peninsula. I then walked to a bay called Stony bay a 3 and half hour walk. It took Lynne nearly as long to drive around. The forest was beautiful and the views of the sea special.

The photographs


Whitianga – Mercury bay

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 8:32 am

Hot water beach - Coromandel-0850

people enjoying the very hot water that flows out of the sand

We moved to the camp site near to Hot water beach. We visited Cathedral Cove and Hot water beach with a shovel! I went for a swim as well as sitting in the hot water. This was followed by a day’s diving and what a day’s diving! I am not going to write an account here yet but it involved a long period of time floating in the Pacific Ocean. I survived to tell the tale. The rat has been fed.




Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 8:38 am

Matapouri Bay to Ngunguru walk-0669

Tutukaku a small village that is famous to having access to the Poor Knights – a marine reserve that is pristine. There were more fish and larger ones than I had ever seen. Three days six dives and on the last day I dived with one of the instructors and had a great day.

Lynne and I both went out on the boat on one day and were rewarded with a view of a sun fish a first for both of us.



Ahora Island

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 4:36 am

We stayed here for a week. It is a small island joined to the mainland by a causeway. This allows them to kill all pests – possums stoats etc – and there are thriving Kiwi birds. We went for two night walks armed with red torches and we were rewarded with sightings on both nights 5 Kiwis in total. They are interesting birds for a number of reasons. We spent a day in the forest looking at a subtropical rainforest, fascinating. I did a two and a half walk through the forest and Lynne picked me up the other side. I really enjoyed it. There is a lot of greenery in New Zealand. We spend another day using a double canoe to look at the mangroves and visit an island covered in pea plants.

What I will always remember apart from the Kiwis is the birdsong at dusk and dawn the Tui birds putting on their act


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