On Monday over the week of strangely warm Spring weather we've had, my sister and I drove out to a local surf beach about 10 minutes out of town. Te Arai is a long long beach and popular with surfers and swimmers alike. There are 3 entrances, first is through a forestry area, 2nd is at the end of a long gravel road and the 3rd is through another forestry road. This photo was taken after we arrived at the third spot, someone had put up a makeshift hut made of branches and Norfolk Pine leaves.
It was however near enough to a scorching hot day, I was regretting wearing a light jumper and black tights, think next time we go there on a warm day we'll be wearing lightweight Summer gear.
See that lovely old villa on the left? Located at 123 Grafton Road in Auckland City it was once derelict, falling apart with rotting windows and joinery. Now it is being used by the Falling Apple Charitable Trust who purchased it in 2013 with the intent of promoting culture, art, music, education, health, sustainability and well-being in the community.
The restoration includes help from 250 volunteers both local and from abroad and according to my research the villa was built around 1882. It was owned by a George William Basley and his wife Frances - it is mostly made of Kauri. Originally governor William Hobson purchased the land in 1841 with local chiefs Kawau, Tinana and Reweti Tamaki signing the deed of sale.
Over the years the property was passed between different owners until in 1976 it was sold to Housing NZ where it was used as a boarding house, a drug rehab center and privately rented. In 2011 it was placed in Auckland City Council's heritage list and is now being tastef…
It seems that Auckland City has become a bit too overcrowded since it's beginning so the potential move could be a good thing. Currently the port sits on 140 acres of land most in Commercial Bay, Official Bay, Princess Wharf and Mechanics Bay full of storage areas and wharves.
Marsden Point however lies 30 km south of Whangarei (which has it's own port too) on the same coast and 140 km north of Auckland. At the moment the proposal is in study mode but they are hoping to start the shift within 15 years. Auckland will remain being the port for cruise ships, ferries etc.