The strange tale of the
away in Germany there were 44 geologists
of the Geological Society of Germany who saved $ 10'000
for a trip to visit the many interesting geological sites in New Zealand,
during a 28 day tour through the North and South island.
Shortly after leaving Auckland (21.04.2004) they heard of this stunning, newly discovered, geological wonder, the Wairere Boulders. Unfortunately a visit to this mystique valley was not planned, but the geologists convinced the tour operator to change plans and head for the Wairere Boulder Valley in the remote Hokianga Harbour.
But ohhhh, the bus driver refused to drive through the dreadful, unsealed stretch of Taheke Road, which is the only access road of the Wairere Boulders to the Twin Coast Discovery Route. During a phone call to the helpful Boulder Folks in the hidden valley, they heard about an option to do a detour of 50 km and drive to the Boulders via Kaikohe and SH 1. This ment to get up an hour earlier and drive a further 50 km to be able to have this well reputed boulder experience. After assurance that one can safely turn around a three axle, 56 seater bus on the Wairere Parking they decided to give it a go.
|At the Wairere Boulders they were given an introduction about the geology and the history of the valley (in German language) and then they headed off into the lush subtropical bush-boulder walk and were totally engulfed in nature and beauty for about two hours.|
|They all emerged safely, full of praise and in adoration about the depth of the experience and the superb and diligent quality of this tourism venture. They even took detailed pictures to be able to demonstrate the outstanding quality of the design and construction to the German building authorities.|
|After a free cup of tea, coffee or a fruit juice and some further explanation by the pioneering creators of the Geo-Park, the tour guide had to round up the enthralled visitors to enter the coach.|
|The coach left the park driving through McDonnell Road towards Taheke Road, well brushed off by poplar branches and tea-tree hanging into the road, bushes and branches that have not been cut back since a long time.|
|The bend in front of the bridge was so narrow that the bus almost took the rails with it, but luckily the driver had his wheel firmly and skilfully in his hands, so he managed to miss the post by a few millimeters.|
|They intended to drive back to Horeke, but... ohhh nooohhh, what is that smoke on the right rear wheels? The wheels are spinning and spinning and spinning. We are stuck, I can't make it! the driver cried. We never should have visited this lost place. The roads are just too bad.|
|Everybody out! the driver ordered and all geologists hopped out, making sure they have their cameras handy to document the terrible roading conditions to their friends back in Germany. Now let's try again with less weight. But ohhhhh, not again, the wheels are spinning and spinning and spinning.|
|The geologists are waiting patiently. After several trys eyebrows are rising and fears are creeping up in the minds. What now? But luckily there just came a logging truck along and the truck driver kindly offered to tow the bus onto Taheke Road. Unfortunately the bus had no hook in front and the panelling was too low to put a chain around the axle.|
|The bus driver decided to drive out towards the Taheke side which is less steep. After several trials and gaining sufficient speed he made it up onto Taheke Road. Now, how to turn around? After carefully evaluating the situation the bus driver ordered the geologists to board.|
|The Boulder Folks apologised on behalf of the FNDC and the NZ Government for the intolerable roading conditions with words like: No need to visit a third world country, you can have the same experience on Horeke-Taheke Road. The driver, shaking his head, drove backwards towards Horeke, in reverse gear.|
it is only 2.1 km from here.
Do you know that you are legally not allowed to back up with tourists on board. Don't worry, driver, we will not tell.
|Only 2.0 km now. You will get a stiff neck, poor driver.
I am sure you will recommend the Wairere Boulders to your friends.
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