Saturday, 24 August 2019

Return to Piroa Falls

Normally the 1st September is considering to be officially the first day of Spring but it feels very mild here, so much never-ending rain but on the one day last week it temporarily stopped we managed to visit a local spot.

Piroa Falls is a place I use to take my children to when we lived in Maungaturoto, a town about 15 minutes away. A popular spot over Summer, lots of local people cool down here.

Over Winter it's dead quiet, too cold to be swimming here - it's nice to see it so pristine and clean at this time of year. I'd forgotten the gravel road we drove on to get there and how beautiful the scenery is.

I hope it stays that way but I know as the weather warms up and more people come here it will be more and more used. Sometimes I wish places like this were never discovered so they could remain untouched.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

The old Hikurangi Hotel

Last time we passed through Hikurangi I made a point of stopping outside the local historical hotel.  This baby is just outside Whangarei and is also known as "The Hika" and was established around 1882.

In 1862 about 12,000 acres of land was purchased for the Crown whose interest in the land was because of forests of totara, kauri, rimu etc on it's land. Transport roads were opened and the road to Whangarei in 1875 led to the start of the timber industry.

The hotel was built around this time when thirsty workers needed rest, food and lodgings. It's built from timber and has sash windows and originally there were other buildings also on the property such as a butcher's stop and stables. These days the hotel is privately owned and the only access that people have inside is in the public bar and bottle store.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Kotahitanga - Unity

I was in Whangarei last week for a job interview and in the parking lot where I parked my car I spotted this mural. Named "Kotahitanga" meaning "unity" in Maori it's been painted by local artist Earnest Bradley and was part of the 2019 Street Prints Manaia Trail - this one is in John Street.

I like it because it symbolizes what NZ needs to become - there is always going to be racism and division no matter where you go but many people are still stuck on the ramifications of the first settlers colonizing the land and to a degree I can understand the frustration but we can't go back in time and change anything, we can only go forward and try to get along with each other. Thoughts?

Linking up with Mural MondayOur World Tuesday and My corner of the world.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Welcome home

I don't know if I've ever mentioned if but I was born and raised in Auckland but I consider this place, Mangawhai to be home. We first moved up in 1996 when my oldest son was 1 and over the years we've moved out and back in again.

We're pretty much settled in again and a few days ago 2 of my children and I got out once the rain cleared to enjoy a walk along our surf beach. Winter is the quietest time of the year here, it really is a holiday destination but once Summer comes it gets very busy and congested with visitors.

People are pretty good with their dogs over Winter and most use a doggy bag to pick up the poos but once in a while you get those who unfortunately just don't care and it's not nice stepping into something yucky. At the moment being August here it's feeling like there's a hint of Spring in the air.

I'm looking forward to showing my other half all of the special spots the kids and I have discovered over the years as it's his first time here, but he's enjoying it so far...

Have a good weekend :-)

Friday, 16 August 2019

Morena Rangitoto!

When I was growing up as a child in the suburbs of Auckland my mother use to take my siblings and I up to the top of this mountain in Devonport. Mount Victoria, where I took this photo however it's the volcanic landscape in the distance that interests me more.

Rangitoto Island is volcanic and located in the Hauraki Gulf. It is 5.5km island and measures in height 260m. "Rangitoto" is maori for "bloody sky" and is the youngest and largest of around 50 volcanoes in the Auckland area. It erupted approx 600 years ago. It is not dead like most volcanoes but dormant (asleep) and could erupt again at any time. I've never been there, you have to get there by boat and it is now managed by the Department of Conservation, the Ngai Tai and Ngati Paoa tribes.

Visitors are not allowed to take dogs or other animals onto the island and after many years of trying to get rid of rats, stoats, mice, cats, goats, deer, wallaby and possums it is now pest free. North Island Saddlebacks are prevalent there after once being threatened into extinction and Kaka birds once lived there before colonization.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Bay of Islands Vintage Railway

It's not often we drive through Kawakawa, but last Saturday as we passed through I stopped to take some photos of the vintage trains. Apparently the railway first began in 1864 when coal was discovered then a tramway was built 4 years later.

The old tram tracks, which still run through the town were replaced by the railway line now there and the first rails were opened in 1877. The link through to Opua was finished in 1884 and led to Opua becoming a deep sea port.

Apparently the last train pulled out of Opua in 1977 and although there were attempts to continue the rail service the tracks fell into disrepair and after 122 years it was threatened with closure.

In 1984 the railway was granted a reprieve and the Bay of Islands railway was born. There is a steam train named "Gabriel" (the green one above) - this one is currently under restoration.

There is also a diesel red engine named "Dewey" built in 1896, a blue one named "Timmy" built in 1959 and a green one named "Charlie" made in 1967.

4 trains are scheduled to run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday all year and the railway is a non-profit. It also includes a cafe and giftshop people can buy souvenirs from.

And here is one of the trains making it's way on it's journey around Kawakawa.

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Rodrigo Rozas in Hikurangi

We are finally here back home, the house is a mess with unpacked boxes but we are getting there slowly. We have my 3 teenagers and my oldest son's girlfriend - we are no longer on town supply water, we have a large water tank behind the house that we rely on from the rain so we have had to implement a 5 minute shower timing system and each cycle someone does of the washing machine has to be limited to 30 minute eco wash. 3 of us are working full-time but myself and the other 2 will be job searching this week. I have an interview on Tuesday so fingers crossed.

On the 2 hour drive yesterday we stopped in Hikurangi, my 3 children now know that anytime they get in the car with me it turns into the "Camera Express" because I frequently stop to take photos. This one on the side of the one of the retro buildings is by Northland local artist Rodrigo Rozas. Now back to the unpacking...

Linking up with Monday Murals and Our World Tuesday.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Welcome to Sigatoka Markets

On the day we took a taxi into Sigatoka, our driver David narrated all the scenery on the way. This is what Sigatoka looks like, it's quite a run down little town. It's alot tidier and cleaner than most of the roads are.

Through the little side roads people have stalls and tables set up. There is a mixture of products that they have from fabrics, weaving and clothing through to hot food, vegetables, baking, fruit etc.

This was one of the local shops that sold bread and had many people bustling about doing their business. The streets were dusty and not very well maintained.

This is the Sigatoka marketplace, quite small compared to the one we planned to visit in Suva but it was good to see the different fruit and veges people sold.

This one caught my eye, apparently it's a type of bitter melon and it's good for the digestive system.

More people outside on the footpaths and street selling other types of fruit and veges. I tried a type of Hawaiian papaya while I was there and loved it.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.


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