After leaving the area of Rotorua (known to many people as the stinking area of New Zealand), we headed north to the town of Paeroa. But to make our travel by car not just a ride from one place to another, we had a few stops along the way again.
McLaren Falls Park
This park is said to have one of the best botanical tree collections on the North Island. In the area, we had the opportunity to see several orchards and deep in the park, we discovered a small waterfall.
So it is true that we were looking forward to a much larger waterfall, but we lost a bit in this area. We thought the waterfall would be somewhere in the park, but it was a little further below the bridge. Theoretically, it was supposed to be there, but thanks to this year’s dry season, there was a really small amount of water flowing here. So the only thing we could have enjoyed was a walk on the rocks where there is usually water. Below the bridge is a small lake where you can even swim. Unfortunately, this is not enough for people. Again, forbidden fruit tastes the most. And so we could witness jumping (into this little lake) from the bridge, even though there are huge prohibition signs.
This town is remarkable especially for his history (thanks to gold mining). In the 19th century, it was one of the largest mining areas in the world and the fastest growing city in Auckland. In 1952, the mighty Martha mine was closed and gold mining was stopped.
In the 1970s, the city experienced a large influx of hippies seeking an environmentally friendly alternative lifestyle.
Paeroa is a small town in the Hauraki district at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealanders know it thanks to mineral springs, which were previously used in the production of the local soft drink “Lemon & Paeroa”. The soft drink was made from lemon and carbonated mineral water. And because Martin fell in love with this local lemonade, we couldn’t miss visiting Paeroa. It reminded me of a city Poděbrady in the Czech Republic, which is a short distance from our home and where we like to go with our family in the summer months.
There was one more reason why we decided to go to Paeroa. When we helped as volunteers in Ponsonby for a young couple of Jess and Warren, we found out that Jesica´s father (John Britten) had created the Britten V1000 racing bike in the 1990s, which won not only the “The Battle of the Streets” motorcycle races held in the Paeroa city but also holds several world records. The Britten Motorcycle Company produced a total of 10 Britten V1000 motorcycles and now, we can only find them in collections and museums around the world (one in Wellington Museum). “The Battle of the Streets” was always held in February, but unfortunately it was cancelled 2 years ago.
I liked the accommodation here. It may seem that we lived in a remodelled barn that the owners rented to people, but even so, the place had an incredible charm.
Also, our accommodation was in a beautiful garden and with a sitting under an avocado tree.
More new knowledge from New Zealand awaits us at Howick Historical Village 🙂