As I got close to Mangakino (4 k’s away) there was a service station at the intersection with an army vehicle and 4 soldiers with automatic rifles standing around. What the.. I thought, must be some heavy dudes around. Carried on into Mangakino and looked down a side street and there were 15 similarly armed soldiers in the street and around a house and more on intersections further on. Kept on trucking and finally got to Dead Dog Island (Mate = dead kuri=dog) and there was a road block complete with road spikes and sandbags.
The NZ Army is on a 9 day exercise and have set up camp on the island and it was closed to the public. I kid you not. Asked if I could take their photo and they somewhat embarrassedly said yes. Currently parked back up the road in the domain just by the lake.