After a year of searching for a rural property with native forest, countless daily searches on Trade Me and numerous phone calls to vendors we were considering a trip to the Wairarapa to visit a property that had native beech and planted pines when a new listing appeared that looked more promising than all the others.
Located near Tolaga Bay the owner was very happy that we visited at our leisure so on a Friday night we headed for the East Cape with an overnight stop in Matata. Tolaga Bay is an area we are familiar with having camped for family summer holidays at several of the beautiful beaches around the Cape and Marie has spent time in the Bay working on one of her research projects.
The Bay was named Tolaga by Captain Cook in 1769 when he stopped at the nearby Cooks Cove soon after arriving in New Zealand. Today it is probably best known for its historic wharf that is the longest in New Zealand.
The drive to Gisborne through the Waioeka Gorge and across the Poverty Bay plains and then northwards to Tolaga Bay is spectacular and quickly reminds you that you have left the city far behind.
The property was easy to locate. It was the one with piles of log debris cast into giant heaps and broken puriri trees where the felled pine trees had smashed their graceful arching limbs. We climbed a long steep spurline through the replanted pine plantation and entered the native forest to find a quiet calmness and an inviting path that spanned the distance between two pylons from one side of the property to the other carrying the power lines north to Tokomaru Bay.
The views over the Tolaga Bay flats to the hills beyond were mesmerising and after finding our very own waterfall we knew we had found our place that comes both with its challenges and everything we have been searching for.
This blog is the ongoing story of our piece of paradise on the East Cape we have named Tāne's Rest. Visit our About pages to read more about our project, and feel free to leave a comment on any of our posts.
Uawa County existed for 45 years from 1 December 1918 to 1 April 1964 before merging with Cook County. Click on the map to download a copy.