Sunday, 30 December 2018

Mangungu Mission Church

This historical church is one of the oldest in the Hokianga region and was founded around 1821 as part of the mission house and station. In 1840 this land was where an additional 64 signatures were added to the Treaty of Waitangi and after the deception was discovered at the original signing there was still alot of opposition to this.

After some discussion between one chief and some missionaries they decided it would be good for the Maori people in general. Gifts of tobacco and blankets were given out by Governor Hobson but many people were unhappy with this considering they were trading the rights to their land and asked for their signatures to be removed from the treaty. This was refused  and although there were people who were opposed to this, those who did sign ended up being the most faithful.

It's a pity that such a beautiful spot overlooking the harbour could be part of what is now considered to be a one sided travesty.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Thunderstorm Summer

So far we've had a lot of rain and we are only in the beginning of our Summer season which is normally dry and hot. I took this photo on Christmas day morning when blue skies started to poke through the clouds but more thunderstorms are forecast for this weekend...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Christmas day Bougainvillea

Christmas day came and went here in NZ. Christmas eve luckily I didn't have to work and my parents had come up to spend 2 days with us unfortunately we had constant rain - our country got quite a downpour but Christmas day morning the sun came out and shone down on us again.

Some of the goodies we feasted on were typical Kiwi traditions such as Pavlova, Fruit Sponge plus I had mad a Chocolate log with cream and jam in the middle. We also had a pork roast with various vegetables - the other half had barbequed some scallops wrapped on bacon. My mum (in the photo above) cutting the deserts into slices.

Later on after they had left I ventured out for a walk and saw this carpet of purple and red Bougainvillea lining the walkway near our house. How did your day go?

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas from NZ!

Merry Christmas everyone! We've spent the last 2 days with rain, now outside we have blue skies - hoping for a warm Summer's day.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Festive shop windows

This week has been hellish for me as I expected. With Christmas time comes people doing their shopping, many leaving it to the last minute. One colleague has left so I've picked up her late night so now I'm doing 2 late nights a week until 10.30pm. Last night on my way home I stopped and took a few photos here and there but I think this is the best one I got of decorations in one of the shop windows along the main street.

I like it - what do you think?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Summer at Opito Bay

Opito Bay is the place about 10 minutes from where we live that we drive to with our boat to launch from the ramp. I couldn't resist taking this shot from out on the water of the bay.

Summer is finally here and with the red pohutukawa trees blooming, the hot sun beaming down on us and birds singing we are enjoying every minute of it.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Motukaraka Church

Overlooking the Hokianga Harbour is this gem with a very high steeple. Motukaraka Church or as it's otherwise known the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is Catholic based and was designed by Thomas Mahoney but opened in 1910 by Dean Lightfoot one of the Mill Hill Missionaries.

There is a war memorial next to the church dedicated to those who fought in the 2nd world war - names include Private Massey Rameka, Private David Hoani and Private Chris Harris.

The missionaries identified with their mostly Maori congregation and learned their native language. Father John Baptist Becker, also one of the missionaries is buried next to the church and was responsible for translating the bible for his parishioners.

The interior resembles that of a gothic design and has been incredibly well looked after. However upon looking at the mat leading down the centre of the aisle we could see there was some water damage so maybe there was a leak in the roof at some point but it was still immaculate nonetheless.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

The blind harpist

At my work last week we had a special day called the "Christmas Club day". It involves all those who are part of New World's Christmas Club so if you are a part of it you can win prizes and get great deals all day. The entertainment was this very clever blind lady playing the harp - after a few hours it got a bit old and we were wishing for some peace and quiet but nonetheness she was still very talented.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Humid Summer Evenings

We are at that time of year where the nights and early evenings are becoming humid and dry. Christmas is nearly upon us and people are preparing for that one day where shops close. It's amazing how they freak out - I see some astronomically huge trolleys coming through - it makes me wonder how those who don't have money manage financially.  We have huge lines of people waiting to go through checkout, workers monitoring them so people don't push in, people waiting in the carpark before 7am when the shops open, people trying to get in the side doors early and banging on the front doors - crazy!

Do people behave the same way where you are at Christmas?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The old Horeke Store Fire

Interesting buildings these ones. The one of the left is still being used as a house but the one on the right was the old Horeke Post Office and General Store. Apparently in 1931 embers from smoke coming out of the house's chimney scattered onto the floor and the flames spread across to the store.

The news story below illustrates what happened:
BIG BLAZE - Northern Advocate 1931
HOREKE STORE AND P.O. TWO DWELLINGS SAVED. START IN TIN CHIMNEY. A disastrous fire devastated the business block of Horeke on Saturday last, about 12.30 p.m. Two dwellings, the store and post office stand - together on a platform supported by piles over the river. It is believed that the outbreak was caused by the wind blowing down the tin chimney of the smaller house and scattering embers on the floor. It was lunch time, and although the outbreak was quickly detected, efforts to prevent the spread of flames to the store were unsuccessful. Fortunately the tide was in, and a bucket brigade worked like trojans to save, 'the buildings. The outbreak in the smaller house was got in" hand, but not before over £IOO damage had been done. The store was completely gutted. Mr (H. Rose, who owned the; whole block of buildings, was carrying stock valued at £2500, which he had insured for ■£17.30.
The post office also is a complete, ruin, but most of the records were saved. ‘
Three boats were moored to the piles and forgotten in the excitement. Two of these, a pleasure launch and a goods carrier, wore'burnt and sunk. The homestead was separated from the store by two’ water tanks. ’ logs were chopped in them by the Madrid and the deluging outflow to save the residence. Mr Rose was" returning from a visit to Auckland, and had just arrived to spend a 'few minutes with Mr and Mrs Jim Sloane, Mata, when he heard of the calamity which had befallen him. Rebuilding has commenced already. Mr G,' Kimber, of Whangarei, who was at Horeke, helped in ’the firefighting operations. He was burned about the forehead and arms.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


This morning the other half and I drove about an hour and a half to the Scottish founded town of Waipu to look at a boat he had his eye on.

This is the baby we ended up buying - perfect for those long Summer days fishing out on the water. Fresh fish anyone?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Whangaroa's boat ramp

After a week of thunderstorms and rain we finally have blue skies again. December 1st is the first day of Summer for us kiwis but it certainly hasn't felt like it. We are off to look at a boat to possibly buy on Sunday morning for fishing and this boat ramp in Whangaroa's harbour is one place we can easily launch off. Here's to more Summer days!

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Fundraising for Hospice

In the foyer of my work this week are 2 Christmas trees and hanging on them are cards people have filled out in remembrance of their loved ones who are no longer here. Hospice NZ are here fundraising for their organization and many people are taking advantage of it by donating to them.

These wonderful people help others who are living with a life threatening condition such as heart failure, motor neurone disease, cancer etc so I think it's fitting that they continue.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Christmas at Countdown

Here in NZ we have different names of Supermarkets. We have Countdown (above which is Australian owned), New World (where I work), Pak n Save, Four Square and Fresh Choice (which are NZ owned). 

We were doing our weekly food shopping this morning and I took this shot to show what the average supermarket here looks like. This is the fruit and vege department with the liquor department on the right and seafood department at the end. This is only a small portion in this building with more aisles and checkout lines. As you can see there are Christmas decorations here and there along with the typical chocolates etc on sale. And the Christmas music started 2-3 weeks ago, on Saturday I think I heard 3 different versions of Jingle Bells and it's kinda sad that working in retail and being constantly around everything festive has sort of taken a grinch approach on me.

One plus is that NZ has banned single use plastic bags to be gone from Supermarkets by the end of the year. Countdown has already gotten rid of them and people now use reusable bags. My work will be banning them by 1st January 2019 and it's amazing how many people are not good with the positive change. So many have and complain weekly, sometimes daily about how they won't be able to get their free rubbish bags anymore and how they're stockpiling the plastic bags for when they are gone. It's quite sad that people are so selfish about their needs vs the environment. The other half and I have been using our reusable bags for about a year now and we prefer them because they are stronger and you can get more in them - we are trying to make a positive effort for our earth.

What's your country's policy on this issue?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Rawene's Boatshed Cafe

Along the Esplanade in Rawene near the Ferry wharf is the Boatshed Cafe and apparently they make and sell very delicious food such as a Salmon Cream Cheese gourmet pizza. But they also sell arts, crafts and the best fish and chips in the Hokianga Harbour.

Us kiwis love our pizza and there are all sorts of weird and wonderful varieties here. My favourite one ever is from the Waipu Pizza Barn and it has avocado, shrimp and sour cream on it, another one is a Vegetarian pizza from Dominoes. What's your favourite pizza?

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Rangitahi Marae

This was another one of those places I got the other half to stop the car outside so I could take a better look. There was something about the field full of flowers in front of it with the Rangitahi Marae behind them that caught my attention.

Rangitahi Marae is located in Maraeroa on the Western Side of Horeke Road in the upper part of the Hokianga Harbour. It's main hapu are Te Ngahengahe, Ngati Toro and Te Popoto of the Ngapuhi confederation.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday, 26 November 2018

It comes and goes

Last night after some particularly heavy rain squalls I attempted to get outside and while lying our our deck set up my camera to experiment trying to get some shots of the moon. Early on I got this one and then tried to do better.

It seems that was my only good one as shortly after that the clouds came back again and the moon seemed to highlight the colours around it.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Fresh air and ginger in Kohukohu

When I was a child I suffered terribly from car sickness. My parents use to have to frequently stop on the side of the road during any of our family travels. There was one place in particular that I remember which was a pig farm in Te Hana - I still remember the sign some 30 years later and even now the place is still there.

Up until now I thought I'd grown out of it....not so. After we drove around some of the gravel dirt country roads here we ended up going through some very winding roads for at least an hour and a half. My tummy was not impressed so when we arrived in Kohukohu we stopped so I could buy ginger beer at the local dairy which worked a treat. Ginger is suppose to be a natural remedy for sickness apparently - I ended up sitting in the sun on a park bench breathing in some fresh air and ended up being as right as rain.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The old Horeke Hotel

While driving along some backroads we stopped in this little place. Horeke is in the Hokianga Harbour and boasts a few houses, some old buildings and a hotel/pub. According to the hotel website it was the 2nd town ever established in NZ and is the home of the first commercial ship building yard in NZ dating back to 1826. The hotel is the oldest surviving pub in the country and the oldest part dates to 1833. There is a wharf/jetty at the back of the building leading to the water which looks a bit dilapidated but it probably still serves a purpose.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Maraeroa Maori Urupa Church

Horeke Road in the Hokianga District runs for about 35 minutes with most of it being a dirt gravel road. Much of New Zealand's small towns are linked by this and along the way once again I asked the other half to stop when this baby caught my eye.

For some reason I can't find any information whatsoever about it except that it's named Maraeroa Historical Church and is on 1737 Horeke Road. There is only one grave there belonging to a Private Hone Matiu who served in the 1st World War and died in 1919.

Now sometimes we've found that with old churches the door is either locked or unlocked - this one was the latter. He's not into old buildings as much as I am so I carefully walked inside and what I saw was a very sparse but well looked after interior - looks quite humble doesn't it? From the retro pattered carpet mat down the center of the aisle to the table covered with a cloth and fresh flowers to the weaving hanging on the walls. Under the table to me it looked like a cloth or a cloak with feathers possibly hanging off the end and on top of the table is a large bible.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Kerikeri Half Marathon

What a gorgeous Spring day it's turned out to be - quite scorching!  Today our town is hosting a half marathon so I thought I'd take a walk to check it out.

The run has been organized to raise funds for the Cancer Society - always a worthy cause. For wheelchair/race users it started at 7.25 am, for runners they started at 7.30 am, for walkers their start was 7.50 am.

There were alot of people running down the road so I'd say these were probably the first participants. The race started out at Okaihau on State Highway 1 and ended at the Kerikeri Domain.

There were people cheering the runners on but you see the house/building behind them? They sell clothing/bric a brac etc but they also provide refrigerators out the front full of free fruit and veges for people to take if they need to. I think every town should have something like this.

This is the last part of the run - in the background you can see parked cars and tents set up at the domain. I can hear the music very loudly from our house which is a good 10-15 minute walk from there so it must be even louder at the domain. Later today there is going to be a free street party - I'm not looking forward to the after affects as work will probably be crazy busy later on but at least I have the next 2 days off.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Waitangi Meeting House

A month or so ago we visited Waitangi, in Paihia as the area has been upgraded to included a museum named Te Kongahu. Unfortunately for me I left my camera in the car and had to make do with my cellphone camera, so these photos are not the best quality.

This building in these photos is the meeting house which was built in 1940 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the treaty representing all tribes of NZ. The Treaty of Waitangi was made between Maori Chiefs and the British Crown on 6th February 1840 and every years we remember this day as a public holiday. One thing I noticed inside the museum was one of the plaques on the wall said that the treaty was our country's first human right's document. So true, as the Maori Chiefs were not given representation or a language interpreter so therefore they had no idea of what they were signing. I found the whole experience very humbling and a huge learning experience.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Watch those neighbours

On our last visit out to Opito Bay, we were walking along the beach next to the only road in and out of there and saw this sight peeking over once of the fences. At first I though that maybe they were watching us because don't get many people out there but it took us a minute to realize that these are actually painted heads to give people that feeling they were being watched. Quite funny really!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Ferry ride to KohuKohu

There is a car ferry which runs from Rawene to Kohukohu every hour each day but passengers can also get rides on it too. We were one of about 10 cars waiting to get on and once on we had to stay in our car after paying. This was the view of the coastline that I took with my camera from my side, in the distance (you can't see it) there is an old church with a very tall steeple that we will come back and visit at some point.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Maori carvings at Paihia

New Zealand is full of wonderfully creative Maori carvings. These ones are located in Paihia, next to the Te Teriti O Waitangi house.

They are also known as Pou or Pouwhenua - Pou meaning "pillar" and Whenua meaning "land", painted red and black they certainly stand out.

Monday, 5 November 2018

The Dog Tax War Mural

On the side wall of the Rawene 4 square (kind of like a corner shop or small store) is this mural painted in memory of the historic Dog Tax War of 1898. Apparently the annual tax was introduced because many people, especially Maori around the area owned dogs for hunting and they thought it was a type of discrimination against them.
In the 1890s a dog tax was introduced of 2 shillings and sixpence. The Maori people from Kaikohe West through to the harbour were opposed to it including Waima's Hone Toia not only because many used their animals for hunting but because the tax represented the erosion of their chieftainship. Toia said "first they're going to tax dogs, then they're going to tax people". The stand off occurred when an armed Toia with fewer than 20 men marched to Rawene. Although no blood was shed, the government sent a 120 strong force to the town where he was arrested and served time in old Mount Eden prison.

Unfortunately I've been unable to find the artist of this work but it is located near the Rawene Ferry wharf at the bottom of the main street in the Hokianga.

Linking up with Monday Murals and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Omanaia historical church

Last Sunday on our travels around the area this church caught my eye from the main highway and we turned into the driveway to check it out.

Omanaia Historical Church was apparently founded in 1884 and is the second oldest standing church building in the Hokianga district.

There was a heaviness in the air but we couldn't believe it when I tried the front door and it was unlocked. This is the interior - looks like someone has really looked after this property as other churches we've explored are in nowhere near as good condition.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Halloween at work

Happy Halloween for those of you who are in the Northern Hemisphere. For us Southerners we had our day yesterday. Most of the people at my work dressed up in different ways.

Luckily I had a nurses costume I purchased a few years ago, all I did was splatter it with red food colouring and put some makeup on. This is me with one of the girls from another department - she dressed up as a witch.

This is me with a good friend at work, she also was a witch. Good day - we had lots of compliments from customers and it was good to see so many people get into it. Enjoy your day :-)

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Our Lady of Omanaia

We spotted this rather strange looking statue in the middle of nowhere and thought to ourselves "what the.....?!?!?". In Omanaia, just off the Rawene turnoff there is this icon place strategically up on a hillside and after googling it I've found out that it's known as "Our Lady"placed there by the mostly Catholic community of this area to protect motorists from accidents.

Apparently it was created about 150 years ago in France from melted down armaments collected from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 and was bought to Napier here in NZ in 1890 to be used in St Patrick's Church before being moved to Auckland in 1990. Time and weather had taken it's toll but the locals have had it restored nicely by the look of it.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 29 October 2018

1st World War Memorial in Kohukohu

Since we've moved to Northland we have been trying to visit one new place every couple of weeks. Yesterday we drove about an hour or so out to Kohukohu, a small town on the edge of the Hokianga River. This was the first thing we saw after getting out of the car for some much needed fresh air including these two nice Maori ladies who I greeted by saying "kia ora" meaning "hello" and it was good to hear a cheery "kia ora" back with a smile.

This is the Hokianga Arch of Remembrance dedicated to those who fought in the 1st World War. It was dedicated in 1927 but after being damaged by trucks needing access to the wharf in the 1950s it was moved to the sports field and modified with some gates. Recently it was moved back near the original site at the wharf and has had extra names added to it from the 2nd World War and Vietnam War.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Campers at Tauranga Bay

Spring camping time has started here in NZ. Normally around Labour Weekend which starts usually in the last weekend of October people start going away places either in their campers or with their tents. It's a good way to see the beautiful parts of our country - I'm not a camping fan unfortunately but it looks like these people have a good view of Tauranga Bay and the coastline.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Marlin Hotel - Whangaroa Harbour

Two weekends ago we drove up to one of my favourite places - Whangaroa Harbour. We arrived just before lunch and were quite hungry so we decided to try the historic Marlin Hotel and see what their food was like. We were served by 2 very friendly hosts and ordered our food- the other half had fish and chips (best batter we have ever tasted so light and crunchy) and I had polenta with steamed veges. Absolutely blown away by how delicious it all was.

Apparently the hotel was first established around the mid 1800's when it was named the Masonic Hotel but was badly burned and re-built in the 1920s.

We were told that the fish on the walls were once real and were caught by local fishermen many years ago. 

More Spring flowers

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