Sunday, April 03, 2011

#1364 Taputaputa Bay To Opononi: Māori Place Names, Spirits, Sand Dunes And Tā Moko

The latest version of this transcript has been moved here:

We started day 3 with some cornflakes from our Holiday Grocery Box. Then we had a bit of a look around the camping ground.

Tapotupotu Bay

This camping ground is run by a New Zealand government organisation called the Department of Conservation or DOC. It cost $7.60 each to stay here.

"Tapotupotu" Campground Sign

This sign says Tapotupotu Bay. When I was looking through the footage at home later, I noticed that mysteriously there was a different name on one of the other signs.

"Tapotupotu" Sign

I didn’t know why and Google didn’t either, so I wrote to DOC and I found out that Taputaputa is the correct Māori name and Tapotupotu is the incorrect, but currently the official name. And they said they’re in the process of trying to make the correct Māori name the official name.

I had a quick swim, threw some bottles away in the recycling station, turned the gas off, closed the vent and headed to the top of Aotearoa.

The last time I came here this was a gravel road.This final part of State Highway 1 was sealed last year.

This is Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua. It’s not actually the northernmost point of New Zealand, although most people usually think it is. Like me, until I read the Wikipedia entry and then looked at a map. Some cliffs over to the east are a little bit further north.

Apparently, when we die in New Zealand, this is where our spirits come to leave this world.

Cape Reinga Sign

This is the Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean.

Tasman Sea Meets Pacific Ocean

And this is us on our way to Bluff.

We left State Highway 1 for a bit to check out the Te Paki sand dunes.

I met a guy in Auckland at the end of last year who has travelled a lot around New Zealand. Kevin’s originally from Buffalo in the United States and has lived in New Zealand since 2008. He told me a story about the time he visited these sand dunes.

I love travelling New Zealand and sharing my travels with other people and so I take lots of photographs along the way and I use my iPhone to do that. So here I was sand boarding on these giant sand dunes and I had my iPhone in my pocket. And I took it up to the top of the hill with me and I captured a great shot of everybody sliding down hill and zooming past me. So I put it in my pocket, jumped on my board, went down to the bottom of the hill, hit a bump along the way and stood up to find that my pockets were a little bit lighter than they were up at the top. And somewhere in this giant pile of sand, my iPhone was gone. And thankfully a little girl came up to me just a minute later and said, “I saw this fall out of your pocket. And this is yours.” I was really relieved to be able to find that again.
Yeah, it still worked. Just brushed a little bit of sand off of it and it was all good to go.
Kevin Ptak

We drove down to a place called Omapere, where we met some local guides who told us about the tours they do in the Waipoua Forest.

We can’t guarantee that we’re going to see or hear any wildlife - that’s entirely up to mother nature. But, ah, yeah, we can guarantee that you will see two of the largest known Kauri trees in the world.
Bill Matthews
Footprints Waipoua

Our signature tour, our Twilight Encounter, usually takes about four hours. But we have private tours during the day time.
Kyle Chapman
Footprints Waipoua

We asked Kyle about his moko.

I got this about five years ago. This just represents, ah, my achievements in life. Also my family. It holds my family here. And where I come from, yeah.

We also met Ai who is the Japanese interpreter at Footprints Waipoua. Ai used to be a guide in Japan taking people to see Jōmon Sugi which is now the sister tree of one of the famous trees in the Waipoua forest, Tāne Mahuta.

I used to work for a guide company on Yakushima, of Japan. A small island. I took almost Japanese people to the largest cedar tree in Japan nearly every day.
Ai Okada
Footprints Waipoua

I bought a postcard at the information centre and sent it to Sweden.

That night we stayed with some lovely people in Opononi who made us an amazing meal. People often say the best part about travelling is the people you meet. It was definitely true for us.


This video is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licence.
Credit to: studio tdes |


Thanks to:

United Campervans
Footprints Waipoua
Kevin Ptak

track 1
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Covert Affair

track 2
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Prelude in C - BWV 846
track 3
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: On the Cool Side

track 4
artist: Kämmerer
track: Such a place!
album: Leaving Paradise
from: Göteborg, Sweden
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo

Jōmon Sugi - mako10

Did you notice a mistake in this script? Please leave us a comment and tell us! We really appreciate people pointing out our mistakes. Thank you.

Have you translated this script - or part of it - into your language for English practice and published it on your blog? Please leave a comment and a link so other people can read your translation. Thank you.