|Looking along the Ohinemuri River towards the first suspension bridge|
|Just coming out of the 1km long tunnel|
|The Owharoa Falls where we decide to turn back and investigate the old mining ruins|
|Looking out from one of the 'windows' down towards another suspension bridge; we return on the far side|
|Crossing a rather wobbly bridge|
Back out in the sunshine, we cross a very wobbly suspension bridge and return on a track the other side of the Waitawheta River. We pass a small cave and the man coming out with his daughter is talking about cave wetas. Naturally we ask him to show us too, and there they are: about 20 of them just above our heads in a cluster. Their bodies are much smaller than the wetas we’ve seen in the back yard but their legs and antennae are much longer and spidery. I really don’t want one landing on my head so Mike stays inside to take photos while I get back out into the sunshine.
|Cave Wetas, probably about life size|
It makes for a really interesting and varied walk and made even more so when we later learn that our landlord was contracted by DOC to create the extension to the Windows Walk tunnel taking it down to the suspension bridge to make it a circular walk.
|Last section of the walk taking us back to the car|
We have lunch in the nearby Ohinemuri Winery which is good but takes forever to arrive so we’re setting off for Tauranga later than we imagined and have to put off the Paeroa antique shops again.
|Mike, Peta, and Jem virtually at the top of Mount Maunganui|
|From the top. We later walked over to the tip of the little island as the tide was going out|
At the top of the Mount we’re virtually mobbed by a flock of fantails fluttering around like butterflies, such pretty vivacious little birds. By the time we’re back down again the awards are being presented and the races are over. We separate, with Mike and I walking over the beach to an island just off the coast as its low tide, and then having lunch outside one of the cafes on the coastal strip on this lovely sunny afternoon. After lunch we return to the hotel and wander into Tauranga, going to the Art Gallery where there’s a good exhibition of photos by Brian Brake (one of NZ’s most famous photographers).
|The poppet head frame in the morning mists at Waihi|
|Looking down into the open pit of Martha's Mine|