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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)

Heart of the Northland

Heart of the Northland.

Kaikohe, in the centre of the widest section of the North Auckland peninsula, is about as suitable a travel-base as anywhere for one who wishes to spend a few days or weeks in the inland parts. Round about it is the rich volcanic country, the puriri country, the greatly contested land of the old hard-battling days. I know of no more interesting bit of country in the North, not even the story-haunted shores of yonder grand bay of Tokerau, the place of many islands. Kaikohe is the business end of the North Auckland railway, the inland branch; the other branch has its deep-water terminal at Opua, on the Bay. The line goes a few miles beyond Kaikohe, round the western side of Lake Omapere to Okaihau and the slopes that look down on the Hokianga headwaters. It has hotels and stores, and all the furni-ture of an up-to-date provincial town. The scenery takes the eye; gentle in character, a land of rich pastures and much timber.

Here you are near Taiāmai, that name of beauty and poetry to the Maori; Taiāmai with its lovely hills of romantic forms, its waving forests, its bright streams, its prolific food cultivations. “E Kata ana nga puriri o Taiāmai”—“the puriri trees of Taiāmai are laughing with joy”—is a local proverbial expression; it embodies love of land and home, it is used as a phrase of congratulation and pleasure, of joy of life. You cannot but feel that joy of life in the grand summer time in this heart of the North.