Tag Archives: Hokianga Harbor

Northland: Three-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

This rich yummy chocolate cake was made special for us by our Northland backpackers lodge hostess Sue. A former nurse, she moved to in Omapere, NZ from the United Kingdom 15 years ago and started the fabulous Northland backpackers lodge Globe Trekkers with her son Mike. After a full day of exploring the Hokianga Harbor region, this cake went down smooth as butter.

Three-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

1 coffee mug
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons super fine sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons mini-chocolate chips
splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix well, scraping the sides of the mug. Pour in milk and oil; mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Put the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high (give or take a minute depending on the vintage/wattage of the microwave).

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed. Allow the cake to cool a bit, then tip out onto a plate—or hell eat it out of mug if you’re desperate.

This can easily be shared by two people, unless either is a chocolate hound (like my father-in-law Bob Bird). Otherwise, double the recipe.

Northland: Wild Pigs and Kauri Gum

While waiting for a ferry to cross the Hokianga Harbor, we strolled the tiny harbor village of Rawene, fringed by mangrove trees that grow in sea mud. The locals use the mangrove leaves, which are loaded with salt, to smoke their fish.

A pickup attached to a trailer of five caged dogs caught my attention. I chatted up with the owner, a guy named Joe. He was heading into the Northland bush to hunt wild pigs with his nephews and brother, and was eager to share his story. Continue reading

Northland: Kupe’s Home at Hokianga

There is one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath. — Herman Melville

There is a certain sadness now to writing about New Zealand, this country we’ve come to know and love. But it’s surprisingly cathartic, too, a way of saying farewell, I suppose. Our trip to Northland was our final weekend getaway before we begin the process of packing for our return home-home. Continue reading