Friday, 31 August 2018

The Kerikeri Mission House

Welcome to New Zealand's oldest surviving heritage building. The Kerikeri mission house was finished in 1822 as part of the mission station by the Church Missionary Society.

Samuel Marsden established the Anglican mission to NZ with lay preachers who lived in the Bay of Islands under the protection of Hongi Hika, the chief of the local Ngapuhi tribe. In 1819 Marsden purchased the land from the tribe and using Maori plus European labour instructed Reverend John Butler to erect the buildings under shelter of the Ngapuhi tribe or the local Kororipo Pa. They were interrupted by the Ngapuhi campaign under the Musket Wars.

The house is made mostly of Kauri. John Butler was sacked in 1823, then  George Clarke occupied the house until the early 1830s when the Ngapuhi had abandoned the Kororipo Pa but the mission station by that time didn't need any protection.  The house was then lived in by James and Charlotte Kemp in 1832 and later purchased by the Kemps and stayed in their family for 142 years until it was donated to the NZ Historic Places Trust.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

A walk to Te Wairere Falls

So since we moved to Kerikeri we've been looking up local areas to visit. The other half has been on a quest to find waterfalls around here - so far this is the 5th one we've found. With Spring here there has been alot of colour blooming - this Genista is a very vibrant yellow and there was about 3 or 4 in amongst the walk. 

This walk is called Te Wairere Stream Falls - so beautiful and peaceful and quiet, we were the only ones there. The pathway itself was quite slippery and muddy in places, I expect in Summer it will dry out quite a bit.

The walk takes about 35 minutes from start to finish and we crossed several bridges along the way.  As we walked around there was a little fantail that flitted around and followed us, crossing our paths several times but it was so quick we could never get a decent photo.

Every couple of weekends or so we try to get out and explore somewhere new. Want to know how I first got into walking? A few years ago after a bad breakup I went through a depression. I'm normally quite a positive person so after about 6 months of just feeling yuck and constantly down I knew i had to pull myself out of what felt like a dark hole.

A friend invited me to take part in a 8k walking event with her - I had never done one before so I accepted thinking it would be easy but it was really really hard work but it got me into walking and since then I try to walk at least 3-4 times a week plus get out with the other half and I have to say we now really enjoy it - there's nothing like finding new places.

This place had several swimming holes, the water at the moment would be fairly cold but we were wondering come Summer whether there would be more people here. Apparently access to the waterfall was lost for 60 year and was only opened back up again in April 2017. At the end was this wonderful waterfall - we just wanted to sit here and enjoy the tranquility. Back in the horticultural heyday of the town it was pretty much the town's only recreational spot.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Nosey farm animals

So nice and sunny today - a perfect Spring day. Day 2 of my 2 days off so the other half and I were out and about enjoying one of our walks. This one trekked past some private lifestyle blocks - this one had a few sheep dotted here and there but this baby who looks to be about 18 months old watched us, came up to the fence and mooed while sunning herself in the sunshine.

Once her friend saw she was getting attention he ambled up as well and stood there staring at us. Such nosey friendly creatures though.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

The tunnel that never was

We drove through Okaihau a couple of weekends ago - this is a very very small town, kind of like blink and you miss it. This old tunnel caught our eyes and so when we got home we both looked up the history on it.

What we found out is that apparently this short tunnel is called the Okaihau or Kaikohe branch - it was a branch line railway that that joined the Auckland rail line of the National Rail Network of NZ and Otira.

It was the most northerly line in NZ and was intended to run all the way to Kaitaia - it opened in 1923 and closed in 1987. The work started in 1910, opened in 1914 and finished in 1923 after the end of the first world war.

The great depression in the 1930s proved to the downfall and the continuation of the line was abandoned in 1930. After the line closed the NZ Railways Corporation retained ownership of the trackbed in hope that forestry proposals would happen but in the 1990s most of the rails were removed. It is still owned the the crown.

More information here.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Spring at Lake Omapere

Country life is when you can drive anywhere out of town and within minutes you're seeing farmland everywhere. We drove past Lake Omapere last weekend, sun was shining but it was a windy day. This lake caught our eye - wide at approx 5km in length but not very deep at only 2-3 metres. 

But Spring is now definitely here, a bit early as the first day is normally September 1st so there are plenty of flowering bulbs and other blooms making an appearance. In this photo Kaikohe is just north of here in the distance.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Monarch butterflies everywhere

After a couple of bush walks on our days off this Monarch butterfly caught my attention on our way back to the car. Easily distracted I am I think! After following it I found there were quite a few more than this one. It's been such a mild winter up here that it feels like Spring has come early, maybe that's why this guy was out enjoying the sunshine.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Do you ever...?

A tiny caravan and dingy moored on Kaiaua beach - Winter this year on a stormy day.

Tell me you ever doubt yourself that you can accomplish new things you've never done before? Growing up I use to think I was stupid but as I've gotten older (and I'm certainly not boasting that I"m intelligent in any way) I've realized that I'm one of those people who doesn't learn in conventional settings such as a classroom with a blackboard - I seem to learn better doing it myself in a hands on manner. The skills I've built up over the years have been from life experiences and I think that if I want to learn something I nut it out until I know I can do it.

Last week after being at my new job for less than 2 weeks I was promoted to being one of the 6 supervisors there. It makes me think that it's such an important role they must see something in me that the management think I can do well. I've had to work so hard in life to get where I am and to earn a wage so that I can provide for myself and when my children were younger. I'm kind of proud of myself that I've made it this far.

My question is: why are we so critical of ourselves when other people obviously see something different?

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Saint Michael's Anglican Church, Ohaeawai

Last weekend B and I explored a bit more of the outer area of Kerikeri. This time we found an old church, one of the many that are dotted around New Zealand. This one is just before the tiny settlement of Ohaeawai - it's dated from 1871 and was built on the site of an old battle, the battle of Pene Taui's Pa in 1845.

The church was built by local Ngapuhi people and at the opening in 1872 the remains of soldiers killed in the early battle were moved there. Inside the church is an account of the fight and and a plaque listing all the names.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Te Wahapu O Whangaroa

Whangaroa Harbour - just beautiful - probably one of my favourite ever spots here in Northland. So quiet, peaceful, more of a seasonal holiday place but also a great fishing area.

On the welcoming sign into the harbour it says "Te Wahapu O" meaning The Door to Whangaroa "Whanga" meaning wait and "roa" meaning long. Not sure of that translation - maybe it means The door to waiting there for a long time? who knows but I wanted to stay there longer it was so lovely.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Daffodils at Waimate North

You haven't seen much of me this week. I've been in Supervisor training at work so by the time I get home at night I'm pretty much ready for bed. We have been however exploring local places over the last couple of weeks on my day off and have been taking lots of photos of the scenery.

Last weekend was a bit chilly with a bit of a cold Winter breeze in the air but I think Spring is on the way as I did see these yellow Daffodils and white Jonquils at Waimate North in the countryside about 10 minutes out of town.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Starfish and Stingrays

Plenty of these guys at Opito Bay, 10-15 minutes north of Kerikeri - I was quite surprised at how many there were washed up on the sand.

And I don't know how clearly you can see this but there is a rather large Stingray lying in the shallow water at Kerikeri cruising club - I would say there were probably Orca in the harbour that this guy was hiding from - because otherwise they eat squid, small fish or shrimp.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Waikino Station Cafe

One place I was itching to visit since we lived in Tauranga was the old Waikino Station Cafe - located within the Karangahake Gorge Region and just off the main highway. I use to think this was still an actual railway station but it turns out it is now a vintage rail cafe.

Unfortunately because it's Winter here the cafe was closed so the closest I could get was taking a photo from the front over the tracks.

The construction was first started in 1900 and was opened in 1905 for goods and passengers. This would've been quite an isolated area, these days it's in the middle of the countryside within the Karangahake Gorge so it would also probably been used to cart stone and rock from the railway within the Gorge itself.

So here's how it would've first looked in 1905. In 1952 the station stopped operating and in 1961 it was closed. Good to know now though that it's been used for something good.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Reflections at Kerikeri Cruising Club

Winter skies and reflections at the Kerikeri Cruising Club - similar to a Fishing club. Photo taken last week. We've had mostly sunny warm days since we moved up here, only one night of rain - feels like Spring.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

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...