Sunday, 22 October 2017

Street planting in Market Road outside St Cuthbert's College


I'm consulting my botanical expert but as yet I don't know what these are called but I found them flowering about a month ago in Market Road Epsom.







Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Okura Bush walkway


Just to the north of Auckland (but not as far as Orewa) is the Okura Bush walkway. Info

I was checking this out as a bush walk suitable for my mother who is 89 and it is certainly far too difficult after very short distance from the southern end for her. Having said that it is an excellent quality track which would be straight forward enough for most people especially if they had plenty of time. In fact given the number of "camera stops" I made it would be very unlikely that people could complete the whole walk in three hours.






Sunday, 15 October 2017

Glow - Devonport


Part of Auckland Art Week was the Glow festival in Devonport featuring lit structures, fire throwing, closed streets and a whole lot of outdoor dinning.

The crowds were out but the weather wasn't kind on the Friday with wind and rain around 9pm.






Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Hobsonville Point


Hobsonville Point is a new Auckland green fields development spanning a large area that was formerly the Hobsonville Airforce base.

This is intensive living without going to the extreme of the high-rise.

There is a ferry service to Auckland CBD from the old flying boat base and a farmers market adjacent (Saturday and Sunday) - I had the best seafood chowder I've eaten in decades from a vendor there over the weekend.

I have previously posted about the recycling of the old airforce buildings in the area Previous post




There is clearly an approved colour palette across the whole development similar in "earthy" colours to that of the newer part of the Omaha development.






Although many of these homes are occupied there is a stark, grim bleakness in the lack of human activity except for hundreds of yellow vested builders. Above - the main street.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Gannets at Muriwai


It's that time of the year again when romance and nest building is in full swing out on the cliffs at Muriwai.






Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Mt Taranaki from the Stratford side


I haven't often got to the Stratford (eastern) side of the mountain on my many many trips to New Plymouth over the years however in September I managed a "round the mountain" drive.

The photo below taken from the ski field car park which is at around 1000m elevation. The mountain has an elevation of 2518m.





New Plymouths Coastal Walkway


The Coastal Walkway is a 12.7-kilometre  long walkway located along the coast of New Plymouth which started construction in 1999.  Info and Map

The route is an easy walk or cycle and a credit to Taranaki showing the rest of New Zealand what they could achieve with their coastlines with a bit of will power.






Saturday, 30 September 2017

The way we were part two . Leeston School 1932 and 1935


Another from my - the way we were collection.


Leeston School - Canterbury 1932 Standard 3 and 4 - (nine and ten year olds) 

In this photo is my Dad (back row first on the left) with his life long best friend (my "uncle" Ivan,  the only boy wearing a tie) !! Ivan went on to become both a qualified pharmacist and a doctor spending his entire career in the small rural town of Palmerston as their GP. My dad was a Pilot in WW2, studied electrical engineering and worked at the NZ Post and Telegraph his whole career. In his "retirement" spending ten years working for the UNDP around the Pacific designing and installing telecommunications systems. 


Leeston Seniors (12 year olds) 1935 if any of these children were still surviving they would be well in to their 90's.


Land based fishing - Muriwai


Each year on average seven people drown in New Zealand while engaged in land based fishing the majority of whom are male and at least one I could find falling from the rocks at Muriwai Beach.  While every drowning is a preventable tragedy why is this no surprise .......?









First time I've seen anything caught here and only one of several ....... very intrepid photographer excellent angle but good luck getting that salt spray off your lens.
This the only fisherman I saw wearing the recommended life jacket.



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Old fashioned eating places


Back not so very long ago - like the 1960's and 1970's - there were no cafes as we know them now or coffee that wasn't instant. In fact I had my first "flat white" (see Coffee explained) when I was living in Sydney while studying back in 1980 !!
I'm pretty sure the first half decent cafe in Auckland was at the Palmers Garden centre by the Orakei roundabout in the early 1980's.

Things have really changed and its now hard to get a bad coffee in this country and there are cafes everywhere from the humble to the pretensious - but what is hard to find now is places with big selections of our old favourites, simple sitting areas and a lack of the sound of St Gemains "Tourist" coming over the PA. Yes where is the Loiuse cake, the jelly Lamingtons, the Ginger crunch that isn't fifty percent icing and the club sandwiches all like my grandmother used to bake ?

They are hard to find but check out Mr Bon in Helensville , pot of tea (enough for three cups) and a huge fruit pie - yours for $6.50 as I recall.


If you look me up on  Trip Advisor you can check out my many reviews of local and foreign attractions and restaurants - including Mr Bon !!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

More of Oaia Island


Oaia Island in the far distance  as seen from Muriwai.



Bethells Beach


Bethells Beach is located on the west cost of Auckland City - Regional Park site  and Wikipedia Reference.

It is a long flat black sand beach with a large cave at the south end and the outflow from the Waitakere River at the north. The river would, I imagine, only be difficult to cross if in flood as it was only knee deep over the sand the day I was there.

The beach has been a very popular filing location for numerous feature films and music videos including for heavy weights such as Taylor Swift and Shania Twain. (see the Wiki ref).

Seems to be very popular with people with dogs and horse riders.


Looking south along the beach at low tide 


Cave interior 



Looking north from the cave entrance 

The classic photo of Mt Taranaki


It isn't always easy to get the lake, sun and mountain to co-operate but here is the classic Mt Taranaki photograph taken from Lake Mangamahoe.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Dawson Falls - Mt Taranaki National Park.


Dawson Falls is on the southern side of Mt Taranaki about one hours drive from New Plymouth. Once in the park the drive is very scenic and a pretty decent climb up to around 900m. It is a bit out of the way but clearly on the camper van list of things to do. There are good views of Mt Taranaki as well as the falls themselves.  (Dept of Conservation info)




The falls themselves can be accessed by pathways that while not long have a lot of steps and can be a bit muddy. Having said that the walks are beautiful with that sense of plenty of clean air and all with the sound of the falls in the background.




The falls have probably been photographed a million times because of their easy access but none the less .....





Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The way we were - Morven Primary School - South Canterbury


Morven is a tiny place in South Canterbury (Google Maps) with the main south railway running through the middle. So small it doesn't even have a listing in the Wikipedia.

Looking at the street layout on either side or the rail line it probably once had a bigger population but in 2015 even the rural school with just 16 pupils closed down. (Stuff newspaper)

My mothers family is from this area, below is a school photo from 1911, mums father is in the front row on the trike. Notice the number of children who came to school by horse - how cool would that be today.


Morven School - 1911