Saturday, 31 March 2018

Our day of Dolphin exploring


A few weeks ago my sister bought me a ticket for our local Bay Explorers who take people out on their boat to search for wildlife. At the time it was too windy so we postponed it to yesterday. The other half bought a ticket for himself so we got to the wharf bright and early (guess who left their coffee in the car).


The sun rising as we sat waiting for the rest of the people to arrive. Looked like it was going to turn out ok.


Scenery as we headed out through Tauranga's port - these are the cranes alongside the wharf, the area is lined with containers everywhere.


The area runs for several kilometers - these containers can be hired as far as I know.


Out on the open water, the sea was fairly calm and in places the depth of water got to between 40m and 90m deep, we sailed over several reefs as well.


After 3 hours on the water we arrived at Mayor Island which is owned by local Maori Iwi. Apparently you need a permit to set foot on the sand so we anchored offshore and heard all about how it is a pest free island with no dogs, cats, goats, rats, mice or stoats and is used as a breeding ground for endangered birds such as our native Kiwi.


On the way back we saw fur seals playing in the water and the skipper heard there were dolphins nearby, I think these were our common variety of mammals. They followed our boat and these ones I captured on my camera were part of a 200 large pod - such beautiful creatures, it saddens me when they get caught in fishing trawler nets or killed purposely.


And along our main Mount Maunganui beach these Orcas were seen hunting stingray on the coastline. These were 3, a dad, mum and a bay - the dad apparently had a bit missing from his fin but they were happy to hang around for a good 15-20 minutes.

All in all a fantastic day, the other half and I came home tired and sunburned but happy.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tiny Tikitere


State Highway 30 here in NZ goes a long way - approx 219 kms that links both the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. The last time we drove through this area was a few weeks ago, our last road trip. One tiny settlement called Tikitere (pronounced ticky-terry) is on the edge of Lake Rotoiti (pronounced Roto-eety). I've tried to find the meaning of this Maori word and I think it means "fast or quick man". We passed this abandoned house, not sure why it was empty as it looked like it had been renovated with the bricks adding a 2nd story level to the original single story.


 Personally cemeteries interest me, not just for the history but in particular Maori cemeteries have the most artistic clever memorials and if there's one thing I've learned is that burial places are known to be Tapu or sacred. I don't have any Maori ancestry at all so I wouldn't have any rights to enter this cemetery, whenever I find one or a Marae I always stay outside the fence/gates as I know you have to be welcomed in during a Powhiri (pronounced po-firry) and I wouldn't want to be disrespectful.


The view opposite and all along the highway is spectacular, Lake Rotoiti is huge and covers 15km with a depth of 94m. But with skies like this and waters so calm who wouldn't want to spend their last days there?

Friday, 23 March 2018

Let's Eat!



While we have rain outside and it's looking like it's going to last for the next few days we are thinking about blue Autumn skies. No run for me this morning. This photo was taken on Sunday while we were out and about in the city - this area is along the waterfront where there are alot of restaurants and bars. Which one would you pick...sushi or bar and grill?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Hinehopu's Secret Tree


On our last road trip, the other half stopped the car on State Highway 30 to show me this tree. At first I thought "ok it's just a tree" but as I walked closer I could see a small fence-line around it.


In his words it was apparently known locally as "the wishing tree". If you can't read the words very well here's what it says:

"As a baby chieftainess Hinehopu was hidden under this tree by her mother. Disturbed on a journey between Rotoiti and Rotoehu the mother sheltered here from possible discovery from the enemy. Hinehopu grew to be very fond of the forest and was deeply concerned for it's trees and creatures which lived in them. It was under this Matai tree that she met Pikiao the second. They became husband and wife and in time the tree was agreed to be sacred for from their union sprang the Ngati Pikiao tribe and it's many chiefs and subtribes."

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Tauranga Art Gallery


This morning for my birthday (I turned 47 today) we visited the Tauranga Art Gallery.  I have mixed thoughts about this place. My grandfather was an artist and painted paintings in water colour and oils, he held exhibitions in Auckland city during the 1960s so I guess that's what I'm use to.


This section "Future Islands" was alot of fun, in particular I liked the Maori storage hut (above) which appears to have a small ornament of the white house inside it, possibly made from bone, we weren't sure.


This area produced by Charles Walker and Kathy Waghorn represents real and imagined projects that show the diversity of our architecture.



The "road at the end of the universe" was a lit up section in another room, we couldn't quite figure it  out but it's creative nonetheless.


I loved this one titled "the space between" by James Ormsby. To me it shows the ground and what's under the sky.


The gallery as we were walking up the stairs with a resident artist illustrating a long scroll from his perch.


This one was cool. "Postcard to Doctor Jacoby" by Hannah and Aaron Beehre was interactive. You can't see in this photo but there were tiny fireflies swarming around the picture whenever you put your hands near it.


I looked at this and had 3 thoughts....what a huge mess, I like the colours and I pity the person that has to clean this up. Weaving Forest by Super Nature.


These bowls were made by The Bowl Exchange and called "Ace Firers".


And just behind the bowls were the Resolution Series of Captain Clerke and an unknown Maori person by Tane Ma. The person behind the wall was exploring a virtual reality of Maori images.

All in all I think although it was interesting for us to see how much art has come along, in particular digital art we were a bit disappointed as we had expected perhaps more paintings by local artists both historical and modern.

Friday, 16 March 2018

No more Summer days


Summer is at an end for us in the Southern Hemisphere. Hot temperatures are giving way to cooler days and nights - such bliss. No more sleeping with no sheets or blankets, no more having the fan on while sweltering, the beginning of golden colours.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Pepi Toot beach express


This little train is like an icon here in our town. The Pepi Toot train express regularly gives rides to locals and tourists around our area. It has a 20 seater carriage and train and does a 30 minute circuit tour. I'm not sure who the lady in the pink hat is, I assume she's a friend of the train driver as they were both talking when we walked past.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Nosey gossiping sheep...


Sheep are such inquisitive creatures, however the minute you try to get close they run away. On one of our visits near McLaren Falls over Spring we were trying to find a road where a dam was, we weren't successful as the entrance was closed off but these sheep were quite happy to stop their ritual munching and watch is intently.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2 cruise ships in today


Thank goodness for days off. This morning we walked a total of 6ks and on our way we stopped to take photos of 2 cruise ships that were in port - the Queen Mary and the 7 seas voyager.


The first cruise ship is a transatlantic ocean liner and can hold 2695 passengers. The second is a cruise ship for Regent 7 seas cruises, is a bit smaller and can hold 706 passengers. Beautiful stunning late Summer's day out there though.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Ruaihona Marae, Te Teko


One thing I have a fascination with are Maori Maraes. When we are out driving and I see a signpost I try to stop outside there and take photos - I think it's the architecture and artistic carvings that interest me. Ruaihona Marae is on the edge of the Rangitaiki River in Te Teko. There are 2 other Maraes in the area; Tuteao and Uiraroa.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

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