Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year for 2016!

I've been meaning for the last week or so to stop and take photos of the Pohutukawa trees that are flowering here in the Bay of Plenty and finally I managed to do that this morning on the way to work. I stopped just down from Bureta Park and snapped these runners spring around the coastline, and with this scenery who wouldn't want to right?

Although the tide was out you can still see the scenery and let me tell you it's been boiling here to the point of melting here lately. See that green stuff on the sand? It's sea lettuce, weirdly enough, for a few weeks every year it comes in from the ocean then disappears again.

These Pohutukawa flowers and my favourite Summer flowers - truly New Zealand's very own Christmas tree.

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Monday, 28 December 2015

A perfect Summer's day at Mount Maunganui

Yesterday was one of those boiling hot Summer days where a visit to the beach was sorely needed so we drove 15 minutes out to Mount Maunganui in order to cool down. We sat down and relaxed further down the beach from the popular part which was packed with people. Nice view right?

In amongst the sights I spotted this family flying their kite in the air, looks fun right? I think another trip next weekend is in order, especially now that my two teens are here for the next two weeks.

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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas day at Mount Maunganui

Christmas day has come and gone for us kiwis. We spent the day vegetating, playing wii sports (at which I failed miserably), drinking the odd Tequila shot (which knocked me on my knees), battling the humidity and heat then driving out to Mount Maunganui for some fresh air. As you can see from the photo above lots of people had the same idea as us by swimming to cool down and this part of the beach isn't even the whole thing.

At the other end of the rocks in the above photo there were some fishermen surfcast, not sure if they caught anything but I'm sure if their fishing rods weren't secure in the rocks it would be likely to take off if a fish got on the line.

This last shot is of the light shining through the clouds over the apartments and buildings that line the beach. A short time later it rained which made things alot cooler. That's about the gist of my day - hoping yours was Christmasy and full of catching up with family :-)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Selfies with Santa!

The shopping malls are getting frantically busy here with the lead up to Christmas so early Sunday morning we were at one of them looking for clothing for my step daughter. After leaving around 10am we happened to see one rather surprised Santa out in the parking lot getting a photo taken with whoever this lady was and her dog. What a good sport he is!

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Black skies and Christmas traffic jams

This is what happens on the way home from work when I'm stuck in a traffic jam - I start taking photos of the sky...and no doubt the nearer to Christmas the worse it's going to get -_-

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Alyssum and Impatiens at Bureta Park

Wow what a display of colour! Yesterday I parked my car on the side of the road to shoot across and get some photos of these lovely white Alyssum and Pink Impatiens that are planted in the middle of a garden mound in Bureta Park. It's been so warm and dry here that I think they look like they need a good dose of water.

There's so much colour here at the moment with all the sun worshipping plants and flowers in full bloom so I'll try and get some more photos in the next few weeks :-)

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

What's Santa looking for?

At our local supermarket last week I stopped in there to do some food shopping after work, What a surprise to see Santa and one of his reindeer on the roof. Wonder what they are looking for?

This week has been a very busy one, my parents came down for a visit and we met them for dinner on Tuesday night so it was good catching up with them before they drove on to visit other family members in other towns. Last night was my company's Christmas dinner so I enjoyed it with friends/colleagues, was alot of fun :-)

How's your week been?

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Pohutukawa trees are flowering at Tauranga Marina

Yet another photo opportunity stopover for me today, this time on the way home from work. I drive past this place every day and yet this is the first chance I've had to pull in there and explore. This is the Tauranga Bridge Marina, just off the motorway - the Pohutukawa trees planted along the water's edge are just starting to come into flower and there is a myth here in NZ that if you see the flowers before Christmas it means we're going to have a perfect Summer :-)

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Santa is alive and well in Bayfair!

After work last week when I was wandering through one of the local shopping malls I came across Santa's grotto - kinda nice to see decorations up and someone taking the time to dress up and talk to children about what they want for Christmas.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Travels along the Kaiaua Coast

Over the weekend we travelled again to Orere Point where the weather was marvellously hot - on the way home I couldn't help taking a shot of the scenery along the Kaiaua Coast. So nice seeing some of the Pohutukawa trees starting to flower, in fact there's a myth here that if you see their flowers before Christmas it means a bumper summer will come. Today btw it's the 1st of December aka the 1st day of Summer so here's where I start using very high factor sun block due to my pale skin - hope things are going well in your part of the world :-)

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Paddle-boarding and surfing at Whakatane Beach

Two of my favourite images from our recently trip to Whakatane, the top one of two surfers walking across the semi-low tide at the beach and the one below of a paddle boarder heading to shore remind me of what warm weather is all about - golden sand, cool water, stunning scenery make it all worthwhile being a New Zealander - love it!

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Christmas decorations are up already!

It's only November and yet our local Supermarket has already put Christmas decorations on displa, but get this....back in September another store were selling advent calenders - crazy!

Anyway I snapped this shot last week while doing our weekly shop and as you can see there's loads of Summer fruit on display because come December it will be hot and dry for us.

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Fishing Kayaks at Orere Point

A few weeks ago we were visiting family at Orere Point - on the Sunday afternoon I decided the weather was too warm and sunny to be stuck inside so I ventured out for a walk to the local beach and spotted these kayaks on the pebbled shore. The fishing rods are right up my alley, I was very envious as I haven't been fishing for quite some time but shortly after I took this photo a man and his small grand daughter hopped in one and paddled it around the corner to where their family were gathered. Looks like they would've had a great day :-)

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Views from the Butterfly Garden at Te Puna Quarry

Last week I drove out for a 2nd visit to Te Puna Quarry Gardens and since it was a very very warm sunny Spring day I didn't just limit myself to taking photos of one particular area. This time I walked around 3/4 of the gardens - this shot was taken from the Butterfly Garden section.

This part of the garden was full of annuals and perennials - perfect for the bees and butterflies.

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Friday, 13 November 2015

Summer skies at Ohope Beach

It's only November here and already it feels like Summer has struck. Last weekend while driving through the Whakatane coast we kept driving for an extra 5-10 minutes and came through the small settlement of Ohope (oh-hope-ee). This tiny town is well known for it's seaside holiday spot and many people come here to camp over the holidays. This place reminds me of up where I've come from - Mangawhai Heads up north.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

View of White Island from Kohi Point

Another one from our travels to Whakatane in the weekend, this shot was taken from the top of Kohi Point with White Island in the distance. White Island fyi is still an active Volcano and Kohi Point is a lookout which has some walking tracks ranging from 30 minutes long to 2 hours long.

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

California Poppies at Maketu Cemetery

Major roadtrip today! B is looking for a car for his daughter so after searching an online auction website we found two in Whakatane, which is just over an hour away from where we live. On the way there we popped into the local historical cemetery in Maketu

Information I've found says that "in 1769 the British explorer Captain James Cook sailed past Maketu, noting in his journal a Maori settlement on the point of the peninsula which he named “Town Point”, a name that continues today. Never mind that it already had a name, “Okurei”.
Shortly following Cook’s arrival in New Zealand, whalers, traders, and missionaries began to arrive. And the prosperous Maori settlement of Maketu was in their sight. The abundant fishing grounds, easy access to timber and flax, and rich agricultural land made Maketu a prime location.
Arguably the most significant of these Pakeha settlers was a Danish merchant named Phillip Tapsell who arrived in Maketu in 1809 and established a thriving business trading in flax and other goods. He was married three times to Maori women, died in 1873, and is buried in the Maketu cemetery. The Tapsell name is prominent today in the Maketu community."
This photo is of one of three graves grouped together while California Poppies grow along the edge and in amongst the concrete.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Colourful train carriages at Te Maunga

Funny the things I see on my travels, even to and from work seems to find something on a weekly basis. This week twice now I've seen this long line of train carriages parked on the train tracks near my workplace, I can't make out what alot of the graffiti says but I do think people that do this are rather clever don't you?

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Spring sunsets over Orere Point countryside

While at Orere Point last weekend, I happened to spot this sunset from the kitchen window. Since I'm a sucker always for a good sunset I quickly grabbed my camera. In the distance are a few trees but on the right if you can just see it is a farmhouse. Once Summer is here I'm looking forward to spending more time outside in the evenings.

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Surfcasting at Orere Point

Now that we're back from our Labour weekend holiday at Orere Point, we're glad to be back home. I got out and about on quite a few walks around the area and down to the local beach, one shot I took yesterday was off this fishermen surfcasting with eager seagulls swooping overhead.

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday skies - ready for Labour weekend

For Friday Skywatch this week I'm sharing two photos - the top one I took this morning and the bottom was yesterday. It's Labour weekend for us starting tomorrow so that means Monday is a public holiday, most people go away - we are heading up to the Southern part of Auckland to a spot named Orere Point which is on the coast about 5 minutes from the beach. I intend to take my camera and go for loads of walks.

Have a great Friday :-)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Rowing in the low tide in Otumoetai

Despite it being very windy here this week the sun has been well needed, on the way home tonight I happened to spot these rowers going back and forth along the water near the bridge and motorway. Sadly the tide was out so unfortunately I was unable to venture out onto the sand in amongst the puddles of sea water to get a closer shot...

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A break in the weather...

So, while it's been an exciting weekend for us kiwis there hasn't been alot of action in getting out an about with my camera. This one I happened to snap before starting work last week, I couldn't resist taking a shot of the break in the skies between the grey clouds and the blue sky - but then again Spring for us kiwis is like four seasons in one day so scenes like this are pretty typical.

There has been alot of other action though, if you're a rugby freak like I am and have been keeping up with the World Cup then you'd know that NZ are into the semi finals now after beating France this morning with a whopping score of 62-13. Next weekend we are up against South Africa so no doubt that will be another exciting game.

Hope your're having a great weekend like we are :-)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Bobby's Fresh Fish Market

A while back just before I started working I was enjoying a walk along The Strand here in Tauranga, you know those days when you just have to get outside and do something? Well on my walk I spotted this large blue sign advertising Bobby's Fresh Fish Market, apparently here they make the best fish and chips or so I've heard. At other times I've driven past this spot it's been packed with people enjoying lunch, can't say I blame them, it's got lovely scenery :-)

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Quiet house, Quiet spring mornings...

It is very very quiet at our house right now, my two teens went back up North yesterday. As a mum I miss them alot and I had a little teary eyed moment when they got on the bus. I'm use to them talking and puttering around here so the silence feels very strange. My youngest is talking about moving here at the end of the year once he finishes school in December but my daughter thinks she may stay another year with her dad and complete Year 13.

I have kept up with my regular walking patterns though, this morning after the other half had left for work I ventured out and caught this sky with it's stormy grey and orange clouds in the distance over the local primary school.

And there may be changes in the works but I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A day out at Te Puke racetrack

On Sunday afternoon we drove out to the Te Puke racetrack, which is about 25 minutes out of Tauranga just before Te Puke township (pronounced Tee pookee). My stepdaughter has been taking part in racing her go kart for about 7 years with her mother and since we have had my two teenagers with us over the school holidays we thought it would be a fun afternoon. We were right!

We were able to watch her racing plus the junior and senior section - I think each grade drove about 15 rounds each, I captures these shots out of several dozen that I was able to take. Such a fun day with lots of other petrol heads...

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Friday, 2 October 2015

High up in the trees at Adrenalin Forest

For the last week or so I've had my two teens visiting me over the school holidays from up north. On Monday we took them and my step daughter to a place about 15 minutes out of Tauranga called Adrenalin Forest - it's kind of like an "up in the trees obstacle courst". Level 1 starts near the bottom and level 6 ends high up in the trees - there are swing bridges, flying foxes and each person has a safety harness on which straps to the metal wires they need to follow to complete the course. This shot I took of one of the other participants walking across some ropes while trying to balance himself.

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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Finally - I caught the moon!

Monday night I heard there was to be a blood moon in the sky, we weren't sure of the times so before I went to bed I fiddled around with my camera settings, something I haven't been able to work out before and managed to get the shutter speed down to a good level while experimenting with taking photos. Finally got this one which I think is pretty good - what do you think? It's not a blood moon but it is full and round...

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Monday, 28 September 2015

Cherry Blossom time in Tauranga

Over the weekend I decided to go for a rather big walk, something I haven't done for quite some time. As it's Spring here right now there are alot of Cherry Blossoms around the city, in fact in Greerton there was a festival to celebrate the colour of these trees - roads were closed off and many people turned up to enjoy the stalls, face painting, bouncy castles, pony rides etc.

It didn't take long on my walk to see lots of these trees around my neighbourhood - this one (above) is the view from one of the trees next to one of the local petrol stations.

And this one is right outside the local Baptist church - the Cherry Blossom trees seem to be dotted around the city which for me makes for a lovely display of pink colour.

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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Red spring Clivia flowers are blooming pretty!

There's loads of colour here in Tauranga at the moment - I was out on one of my daily walks this morning and saw these lovely vibrant bright red Clivia in the front of someone's garden.

Friday, 25 September 2015

White Spring Magnolias everywhere

Every morning I drive down this road when I take my step daughter to school, there are Magnolia trees and blossoms everywhere, this one has white flowers not just on the branches but also littering the ground, I think it's a bright addition to the gray skies that seem to be here every day.

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Welcome to black stormy skies....and more rain

Just as I was leaving work last night I spotted these black skies coming over Tauranga, we've had so much rain lately I've almost forgotten what the sun looks like. Just as I got home the torrential rain started - typical Spring I think...


There are so many phone and internet companies here. There's Spark, Vodafone, Skinny, 2 degrees and many more. In most towns one of the ...