On our way down the west coast we stumbled upon a wonderful backpackers hidden away in the forest called the Kohukohu Tree house. It was a Budget paradise with friendly hosts and little cottages set among exotic trees and plants. It had a hippie/gypsy feel to it with an array of Farm animals wandering around and a 20 minute nature trek up into the forest to a lookout point over looking the Hokianga harbour. The place was blossoming with life and if we had more time we would of stayed there for a lot longer and chilled out. They had a famous Pig there and that was his retirement home. He used to live at one of the beaches in Auckland and swam in the sea. But some of the neighbours didn't like it so they put out a petition to have him removed. It went all the way to the courts, picking up alot of media attention along the way including CNN news and front page headlines. He had gathered that much support that he actually ran for Mayor of Auckland. Unfortunately he didn't win mayor of the city which would've made it hard for the council to remove him from the beach, He also lost his court case and had to be moved. But by this time he had become a house hold name, parents and schools did trips to see him. He went on to release a calendar and a book and BBC world have recently been up to make a documentary about him.
We didn't know all this when we met him and it made me feel rude for waking him up for a photo. So the next day i took him a big Apple sandwich and happily scratched his hard to reach places with a stick.
Links:Tree house website