New Zealand odyssey part III – heading north…

Hiring an old car, and with no destination in mind, my rucksack and I left the wonderful city of Auckland.

Letting the road take me where it would, I happened to go north.

Leaving the suburbs behind, I drove leisurely through beautifully changing landscapes, at once exotic yet somehow familiar – that hint of Englishness perhaps, in the rolling hills and little rivers, but not amongst the wild ferns and mighty kauri trees.

Lunch time beckoned as I drove into the magical Waipoua Forest, a place I shall never forget. Leaving the car, I initially followed the trail that wound its way through the forest, often rising several feet above the forest floor. New Zealand’s beautiful and ancient kauri trees rose up majestically, as if planted by the gods. The oldest of these trees, Te Matua Ngahere, ‘Father of the Forest’, seemed to beckon to me through the tree ferns and undergrowth. At an estimated 2,000 years old, this colossal living organism had the ability to both instantly humble and fill one with awe.

This was truly a place of tree magic…

The Maori believe in tree spirits and so do I. The ancient Greeks called them the Dryad. Whatever the name…this was a place of inspiration, a place to ignite the imagination!

My first novel, White Mountain, was still in its infancy at the time, and although I knew one of my characters, Wendya, would have to live in a colder climate, her home, ‘The Grey Forest’, was born…

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6 thoughts on “New Zealand odyssey part III – heading north…

  1. Wow! That’s incredible! Trees are truly humbling and awe-inspiring and those sound unbelievable 🙂

    • Ah, thank you honey! Yes I ADORE trees. They seem to tap into that primordial core we still have as humans – magnificent, magical, mysterious.They inspire us and are inextricably linked to our dreams and stories. Think of the ‘Tree of Life’, or Yggdrasil the cosmological ‘World Tree’ of Norse legend, Tokien’s Old Man Willow, the green oak that imprisoned Merlin, the baobabs of Africa which were used as shelters to weary travellers or even prisons! Trees are so much a part of our psyche! 😀

  2. No wonder you were inspired. The trees are magnificent.

    I looked it up, and was sad to learn the forest is under thread from a tiny micro organism …
    http://tvnz.co.nz/meet-the-locals/s2011-e19-video-4091643

    • Thank you Ashen! Yes, they were just so beautiful…ethereal but also viscereal – full of primordial life.

      Oh no! That’s terrible! The forest really was like nothing I have ever experienced and being a lover of trees and woods, I’ve been in a few! Kauri trees are so precious…I really hope they can save them! 😦

  3. […] I just had to share.  And if you’re not following me on Twitter, then you may have missed this!  It’s a post from my good friend Sophie Tallis that was featured on The Bedlam Daily.  […]

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