Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Camping at Lake Aniwhenua

Welcome to Lake Aniwhenua. This scenic spot is located between Kaingaroa Forest and Te Urewera National Park, it is a man make lake formed by a hydro electric dam - very popular with campers.

The lake is long and narrow with a depth of roughly 2.5m and houses plenty of brown and rainbow Trout.

We were almost going to walk up to the waterfall but decided against it as the day was just beyond stifling and hot, I'm sure we were just over it by this point as we had been out since early that morning - think we just wanted to get home but I'm sure we will make the effort again at some point.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Time for some Summer colour

It seems NZ is going through some sort of heatwave at the moment. Last Summer was hot but not nearly this hot and parts of the country are experiencing record temperatures of 35 degrees celsius and even higher sometimes. Since many of you in the Northern hemisphere are in the middle of winter I thought I'd share some Summer colour from my recent visit to Te Puna Quarry Gardens. Rhododendron - as above.

Lovely purple Hydrangea - depending on how much you alter the ph level of the soil you can change the colour of the flowers.

Another lovely cream coloured Rhododendron sticking to the shade.

And in the herb and butterfly gardens some Dahlia and Rudbeckia plus some Buddleia line the pathways. 

Because we live in an apartment I only have a small deck area with some plant pots growing miniature geraniums (perfect for coastal conditions) and some succulents I recently planted from cuttings I got from other peoples gardens which they kindly gave me.

Last week however we've had several events happening here...a music concert, surf life saving championships and cricket games so work has been pretty manic and instead of me having my normal 2 days off I worked 7 days - I'm looking forward to my 3 day weekend next week.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The mysterious town of Kaingaroa Forest

This place is probably the spookiest place I've ever visited.  What use to be a flourishing thriving forestry town is now populated by a handful of residents and is full of old buildings covered in graffiti

Alot of the houses and buildings here were built for when the town was alot busier. The actual forest covers 2900km in the Bay of Plenty region alone and begins near Lake Taupo and ends at Kawerau.

This is a rather sad looking mural we saw when we drove past the local shops (all 3 of them) and the windows had iron bars across all of them.

I'm guessing this building (above and below) were originally the headquarters of the forestry logging company, very strange to see it empty, broken glass and covered in graffiti.

I don't know how long the buildings have been abandoned but the other half said that when he was younger he remembers delivering packages to here and seeing people working in the offices. Quite sad really that it's been allowed to decline so rapidly.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

How's the water Mr Frog?

One of the many sculptures at Te Puna Quarry Park is this huge frog located in a lily pond near the entrance. He looks very comfortable there sitting on his rock eyeing up flies.

I wonder if the water is cool enough for him? It's been sweltering and muggy and humid there, recent rain has cooled the temperatures down but now we're back to heat and blue skies. Bring on Autumn I say!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Road slip in Matahina

This morning during a road trip to Rotorua we passed through Matahina and stopped on the side of a road out in the country so I could take photos of this road slip. Not sure when it happened except that it would've been during a period of very very heavy rain. If you look in this photo (above) you can see the road where the side of it has gone. There were road cones up next to me in a line so I wasn't about to go near the edge for obvious safety reasons.

The view past the edge of the road is part of the Matahina River which passes through the Matahina Power Station.

The water would've all come from above this cliff and as you can see on the left the side of the hill has washed away.

After 6 hours of being out and about it's good to be home, especially in this heat...

Thursday, 18 January 2018

We're all set for Summer rain

There's meant to be heavy rain warnings over much of NZ for the next couple of days, we've mostly had a dry Summer so far with the odd rain spell here and there. Certain parts of the country get it more than others - one thing I miss about living up north is that we use to get real storms up there, you know the kind where the house shakes, the wind howls outside, thunder and lightening - we don't seem to get much of that here in Tauranga.

Anyway I'm sure that no matter how wet it gets here it'll be much needed...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Hello Mr Butterfly!

On a whim Sunday morning my 17 year old and I decided on a whim to take a Summer outing to our local Te Puna Quarry Park. We left home first thing in the morning because by about 10am here it's sweltering hot.

One thing we noticed is that all of the Swan Plants were in bloom and there were ALOT of butterflies and and caterpillars. Perfect season I guess - mid to late Summer.

We walked up alot of the hills and by the end of the day my legs were killing me, reminder to self: do stretches before trying that again. We were only there for about an hour and a half as it had warmed up considerably - think we're looking forward to some cool temperatures once Autumn gets here in March - bring it on!

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Talk like a Kiwi

I came across this video in my Facebook newsfeed this morning and just had to share it. Yes us Kiwis definitely talk like this - well worth watching.

Are there some funny things you say in your country that the rest of the world could learn?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

That's what I call Mussels!

I just love these guys! I'm a bit of a seafood nut and these Mussels grow everywhere on rocks around NZ beaches. I don't think picking shellfish fresh off the rocks, unfortunately you can get sick if you're not careful so I prefer to buy them from the Supermarket where they've been grown in farms. Sad but that's reality.

What kind of seafood grows where you live?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Yoga on the beach

Now that the rain has gone we are back to our normal scheduled Summer. I've been trying to lose weight for the last 6 weeks so every day I've been jogging and walking for about 30 minutes each time. So far I've lost 5kg so I'm feeling pretty good about it all - 10 kg to go.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday :-)

Monday, 8 January 2018

Misty winter ducks

Last Autumn I visited local McLaren Falls Park around 7.30am to try and photograph some Autumn colours.

In Cherry Bay I parked my car and walked down to the lake through the icy cold shadows breathing icy cold air and stopped at the edge of the water where alot of ducks were, some were resting and others were starting to come to life as the sun started to warm where I was standing.

I think what impressed me the most was the fog that was slowly rising from the water into the air. Due to living up north for 20 years I'd never seen this before as over winter for us it was mostly rainy and damp. Hopefully next Autumn I'll be back there again.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

After the big storm...

Seems strange to have major storms halfway through Summer doesn't it? We've spent the last 2 days with torrential rain and wind. Some areas around NZ were flooded but we were pretty fortunate here. 

2 days ago my oldest son travelled down with a friend and visited us, I don't see him nearly enough so it was lovely while he was here. We took them both out yesterday for a drive and stopped at Mount Maunganui beach - my phone camera was very shaky due to the howling wind and there were other people having a look at the waves included a kite surfer who gave up after being pushed around for a while.

This morning they went back up north again so I took the opportunity to record again how much calmer the weather was. According to news stories various birds such as penguins have been washed up in the king tide so hopefully they will be able to make their way out to sea again.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

It's fun to go fishing!

I spotted this group of people surf casting around the rocks from the beach last week - fine Summer's afternoon around dinner time.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

What is that creation?

Outside one of the shops near where we live stands this sculpture, I'm not quite sure what it is but it stands there as proud as punch during the day. I can't seem to find any information on it - what do you think of it?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday :-)

Stock car racing

We spotted this stock car in Murchison last time we were there about a year and a half ago. Looks a bit beat up and well used but I do enjoy...