Let’s stop at Mokau, we decided, just because we’ve never stayed there before. And it wasn’t too far to drive on a grey dismal day, just 60kms. Driving along the Awakino Gorge is always a little challenging, especially towing a caravan behind, as we go carefully drive around corner after corner. The scenery is really pretty, with ferns everywhere, and the steep rocky sides of the gorge towering above.
Tunnel carved through the rock
The road took us up the hill to the Mokau settlement and shops, down the other side, and over the long curved bridge.
We were staying the night at the Tainui-Wetere Domain, and joined another caravan already in residence. They had been there about a week, he told us, and he likes to get out fishing when he can. Not today in weather like this, the sea seems much too rough.
Camping at the Domain, Mokau
After lunch, we decided we might as well get out and explore the area, and check out the other two places to stay nearby. Why let the rain dampen our spirits? Off we went to Tongaporutu to hopefully view the Three Sisters rocks. But the weather was too bad to walk around the coast – we will have to return another time we are up this way, hopefully in better weather. There were several motor-homes parked in the free camping area there. So we looked around at all the various baches (holiday homes) instead. One had a story to tell, such as the Joll Bach.
Notice on the Joll Bach
Others had fancy decorated fences, this one with jandals, crocs, plus a few gumboots and swimming flippers, and another with surf boards.
Decorated jandal fence
Fence decorated with surf boards
View of the Tongaporutu Estuary
Then we drove back to Mokau and explored one little road after another, and found this interesting plaque underneath the bridge, before stopping at the Whitebait Inn at the top of the hill for an ice cream. There is a small motor camp behind the Whitebait Inn, and we asked permission to have a look. There are a small number of grassy sites available, plus the usual ablutions.
The rain hadn’t let up at all, so back we went to our caravan parked up in the Domain. Nope – no new neighbours had arrived, it will just be the two vans for the night.