Sunday, 31 December 2017

I saw the Diamond Princess!

Last Friday on my day off I walked down to the beach to catch the Diamond Princess leaving port. I waited there for about 15-20 minutes before I saw it slowly make its way around Mount Mauao and then emerge behind the rocks.

This baby can hold 2,670 passengers and travels mostly around Asia during the Northern Hemisphere summer and then around Australia and NZ in the Southern Hemisphere Summer.

As for me, I'm choosing this day to relax - thankfully I'm not working today which is New Year's Eve for us so I will miss the busyness that I'd normally be facing at work as it is now over the Summer season. But I did work last night as I do every Saturday and didn't get home until about 10.30 so today being quite tired there's not alot going on.

Hope everything is good for you - Happy New Year!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Even the trees were decorated!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I attempted to drive or walk around the city to visit houses that had been decorated with lights. Sadly in the suburb we live in there wasn't really alot of choice, but I did find this one that was about 2 streets away. This 2 storied house is behind the trees so you can hardly see it but the trees are covered as well as a couple of reindeer on the lawn. These ones would no doubt be solar powered - the same type as I have on my deck outside.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

It's volleyball season!

December/January is premium holidaymaker season here. There's been plenty of people in our town enjoying the beach and Summer sun. I had to work right up until Christmas eve, normally I don't work Sundays but I was rostered on for half the day - thankfully I was able to head home just after lunch which was nice. I won't get any time off as I will have been there for a full year in February so we will most likely go away for a week then.

Hope you've had a restful few days over Christmas.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

I hope you're enjoying your day so far. We were up bright at early this morning, after opening presents we were out on the beach enjoying a walk - so nice feeling the sea on my feet.

We even made a Sand man called Sandy in the tide that was coming in - except this one only has 1 eye.

Lots of people enjoying the warm sunny Summer sunshine including surfers, kayakers and dog walkers.

Looks like Santa left a little friend behind outside this person's front door. Hope all is good where you are :-)

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Wooden Christmas trees in Tauranga

On my one day off this week (Friday morning) the teens and I drove into Tauranga City to look around the shops. I was originally going to try and find the Winter Wonderland in Goddards Shopping Center but after walking around we couldn't find it in the end. On our way back to the car we heard these clever men playing some awfully good blues music, surrounded by wooden Christmas Trees that have been placed around the area.

These wooden Christmas trees have been made to celebrate the festive season and each one has been decorated and adorned with badges from various organizations and local community groups. They're something different don't you think?

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

New Zealand's Christmas Tree

Every year between November and December these flowers start to bloom. Named the Pohutukawa Tree, they line most coastal roads and beaches, loving the sunshine and sandy conditions. They are aptly named New Zealand's Christmas tree and the vibrant red flowers are reminiscent of the time of the season. The myth is that if they flower before Christmas day then we are in for a good Summer - so far that seems to have come true.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas lights in Papamoa

Every Christmas each suburb in the city decorates their houses in decorations and lights etc. There are light trails you can follow and last weekend we chose Papamoa which is about 15 minutes drive from where we live.  We probably should've left a wee bit later because once we got there the sun was still setting. The words in the above picture "Wairakei" mean water in Maori - I'm guessing the owners of the house want to see some rain as it is very very dry here.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bluebottles are back!

The temperatures here have been so warm that in the last week the beach has been littered with these scary creatures. The Portuguese man o'war or "Bluebottles" as they are otherwise known are nasty and can inflict an evil sting, sometimes causing people to die.

These are apparently meat eaters but other sea creatures such as the loggerhead turtle, blue sea slug, and ocean sunfish love to feast on them. I would say the King Tide from last week most likely bought them in from the ocean, this morning they were all gone so hopefully they have been reclaimed to the seas.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Our Oystercatchers Harry and Sophie

Meet Harry and Sophie, Mount Maunganui's resident Oystercatchers. Every year they come to our main beach to nest and raise babies.

The Department of Conservation are pretty good at putting up cordons around the nest along with sandbags to protect the chicks.

We carefully walked around the area and I managed to get this photo of the baby that's hatched out this year. Looks like he/she is quite happy.

People have been pretty good at staying away from the nest and there is a no dog policy on this part of the beach. Hopefully this family can keep coming back here in years to come.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Roses are loving the Summer heat

This week we've had record temperatures reaching up to the mid 20s to early 30s (celsius). The weather is scorching, good old me has to use sunblock of factor 40+ in order to be protected and that's when applied every 2 hours - I blame the English skin I have.

Anyway it looks like the roses at Robbins Park Rose Gardens are loving the sun. Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

This week's Spring king tide

This week we've had a king tide and a supermoon, sadly where I live it's mostly cloudy and overcast at night despite the lovely blue skies and hot Summer weather. This morning I had to dodge the waves a few times as the tide came up to my feet but these surfers will no doubt enjoy it.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Surf Rescue Challenge 2017

Since it's Summer here now - started 1st December I decided to walk a little further than I normally go. Instead of walking part way down the beach I walked to the very end and saw the beginnings of the International Surf Rescue Challenge for 2017 in the midst of being set up.

This event goes for 3 days, it's held every 2 years, there are 8 national open teams and and 4 youth national teams from NZ, Australia, England, South Africa, USA, Canada, France and Japan.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Cruise ship Amsterdam

Cruise ship season started about a month ago, the one in port this was is the Amsterdam all the way from the Netherlands. At 238m long it can hold 1380 passengers and 647 crew.

The skies over Pilot Bay this morning were a bit overcast with blue trying to peep through. I heard these two ladies talking on the wharf and judging from the conversation one of them is all the way from Orlando.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

What's washed up this week?

Sometimes I like to walk along the beach and check out some of the life that's washed up. This curious concoction (above) is something that intrigued me, I can see shells underneath but not sure what the red blobs or the white bubbles are up on top.

Sea lettuce attached to shells doesn't surprise me. Every Summer around January this green stuff gets washed up over the waves, sometimes it's a bit of a pain.

Different kinds of seaweed and sponge get washed up, I like the ones that you can pop with your fingers.

This lone starfish was all by itself, seems something might have had a munch on the ends before the tide bought it up to the beach.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 24 November 2017

Foamy with a hint of happy dog

We've had a run of fine warm early Summer weather here so I've been taking advantage of it and getting out every day. Yesterday the waves were foamy with surfers out on the waves plus this happy dog bounding along in the tide.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Moments in time...

It's been so gloriously warm and sunny here it's good to get out and see everyone else enjoying the scenery. It's amazing how peoples attitudes change when we have blue skies and sunshine, it's like when it rains people are gloomy and less tolerant - at the moment there are good attitudes from everyone, nice to see :-)

Photo taken on Tauranga's waterfront - The Strand.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

A visit to Whareroa Marae

Lately we've been travelling out and about to local areas and trying to not go too far so last weekend on the way back home we stopped in at a local Marae that I didn't know existed.

The Whareroa Marae is about 10 minutes from where we live on the outskirts of an industrial area near the harbour. The primary hapu (a division of Maori people or their community) for the marae are Ngai Tukairangi and Ngati Kuku (tribes).

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Pink Spring Sunset...

Sometimes at night in the late Spring air it's nice to get out for a walk instead of in the mornings. Sunday night I did just that...and here is the end result - pink and blue skies with a nice set of reflections over the sand just as the tide was going out. Hope your week has been good.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas lights are up early

Most people put their Christmas lights and decorations up in December, right? After a beach walk on Sunday night I was on my way home and spied this house around the corner from ours brightly lit up and decorated with lights including two reindeers in the front yard. I enjoy seeing how people decorate their houses differently from each other but it's very stereotypical that Christmas is all about snow and cold and winter. Here in NZ we have Summer, beaches, barbeques and hot weather - I'd love to see some decorations and lights that suit us down under.

Think I'll get our lights out in a couple of weeks...

Sunday, 12 November 2017

St Mary's on the Hill Anglican Parish

Just a short distance out of South Auckland in this quaint quiet area near the Bombay Hills is this wee church, St Mary on the Hill Anglican Parish.  According to the website a small wooden church was originally built was built around the 1860s but was destroyed by a fire in the 1867 so worship services were held around the area in different places including the local school.

But as the population grew so did the need for a church. In 1890 Francis Pyne arrived from England and bought 700 acres of land for his benefactor Harriet Johnston who came to NZ about a year later. A large home was built for her in which she lived in until she died in 1916. In 1899 she offered to pay for the Anglican Church to be built in an imposing Gothic revival and the wages of the resident clergyman and the church of St Mary on the Hill was consecrated by Bishop Cowie in 1901.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Time for sandcastles

With the weather so fine and sunny lately I've been getting out more and more for beach walks. Sunday's one saw lots more people doing just the same including these girls making sandcastles near the walkway. Better enjoy it while we can, I hear there's another cold snap coming...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Huhurua Park

Yesterday on a quiet day off we drove out to Huhurua Park, about half an hour out of Tauranga so the other half could fly his drone, as it turned out his battery for it wasn't charged so I walked around the grounds with my camera anyway.

Apparently on the site there use to be a Maori Pa, although there wasn't any direct evidence of such as the ruins are probably long gone there is still these carvings which have been placed there to show what was once there. 

The view from the edge of the cliff over Omokoroa and Plummer's Point show the tide out in the harbour and the flame tree on the right adds some vibrant colour.

Friday, 3 November 2017

First time out in 2 weeks...

Yesterday was the first time in 2 weeks I was able to get out for a proper walk, still coughing a bit here and there but definitely felt good to breathe in some fresh air. Today is my day off so I'm enjoying watching the series "Outlander". Have a good Friday :-)

Linking up with Skywatch Fridays.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Time for a coffee from Tay Street

Finally some sunshine here! Last week I spotted this lady in the morning warmth sitting on a picnic bench with her coffee enjoying the view of the beach and horizon. Looks like a good spot to sit and think...

Nearby is the Tay Street Cafe, very local to us and apparently has a good name for making good coffee and food. We haven't been there yet but as you can see from the building the cafe is at the bottom next to a hairdresser's and above are some apartments which overlook the beach. I'd say they definitely have a good view wouldn't you?

I've seen alot of posts about Halloween, I could post about it but unfortunately here in NZ it's not as popular as it is in other countries around the world. We had dress up day yesterday at work and people seemed to enjoy it - we had no trick or treaters here but mind you we live in an apartment block next door to mostly retired people so not many families in this area.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Maketu has gone to the dogs...

Like I've mentioned before, Cemeteries interest me...this one we visited in Maketu also has historical part graves to it - these ones are in the newer part. This one caught my eye....judging by the headstone on the grave I'd say this one is affiliated with a local gang, looks like the Mongrel Mob and the dogs on top show that the person must've loved bulldogs.

According to local history many Maori pa were situated in various parts of the area around the early part of European occupation. The history lies in it's numerous burial grounds especially in Wharekaru are graves of some Pakeha and Maori leaders including Philip Tapsell and Anne Chapman who established the first local school in Maketu. The open fields of the Peninsula are considered sacred ground (Tapu).

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 27 October 2017

Stormy view over Port of Tauranga

Since we've moved over to Mount Maunganui I've been wanting to walk along the walkway/cycleway of the harbour bridge to take a photo of the Port of Tauranga.  Finally a couple of weeks ago after a stormy weekend I bit the bullet and got it done.

In the distance you can see the Mount, on the left is part of the port with a small number of containers only in view (it literally goes for quite some distance) and on the right is the Tauranga Marina. Still in Spring here with an equal number of rainy and sunny days.

Thanks to all for well wishes while I've been sick, I hope I literally never have to go through that again. I feel like I'm on the mend :-)

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Wiremu Neera Te Awaitaia

I'm one of those people who have a fascination with old things, houses....cemeteries. I don't see them as morbid or useless...I see them as places full of history and memories.  On our recent trip through Raglan it was a blustery freezing cold Spring day, New Zealand had seen alot of rain that almost seem to keep going and going so this area was flooded in places. This small cemetery and monuments are in honour of Wiremu Neera Te Awataia, who was a Maori chief when the first ever contact was being made with European settlers.

He was born in 1796 into the Waikato Tribe of Ngati Mahanga and was known as a friend of the Pakeha (white people) and a person of great influence in Raglan. His name in the English language means "William Naylor".

Sooo do you ever visit historical areas and what are your favourite places?

btw I'm home from work for the rest of the week, seems the flu has developed into a chest infection leading to Laryngitis. Anti-biotics are now being taken and boredom has set in. Can't wait to get back to real life.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The old Petrol Station of Pongakawa

On one of our road trips not so long ago we drove past this old building on the corner of the road leading into Pongakawa a small town about 40 minutes out of Tauranga. Old buildings especially those covered in graffiti catch my attention so we stopped briefly so I could take some photos.

According to people who have lived around the area this use to be the old petrol station, not sure how old it is or when it was last used as there seems to be very little information available online about this. It's kind of a pity it hasn't been used for another purpose but then again the building doesn't look very stable anyway...

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Friday, 20 October 2017

Time for a morning surf

This week I've been struck down with another Spring flu, seems like when you work in a job that deals with the public people come in all the time sick, coughing and sneezing so it's easy to get bugs.

In NZ this week it's going to be Labour Weekend. I have family coming down here from Northland for a visit so we're hoping to spend some sunny days outside at the beach.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

More Spring flowers

  Linking up with  Through my lens ,  Ruby Tuesday ,  Tuesday Treasures ,  My corner of the world  and  Wordless Wednesday .