Sunday 30 September 2018

The 10km Puhoi River

On the day we moved to Kerikeri my daughter and I left an hour before the other 2, when we arrived we were an hour late. This is one of the reasons why. The Puhoi River is situated just out of Auckland and just before the town of Warkworth. Such a lovely quiet little town. This river flows southeast from it's source 10 kilometres through Warkworth, through Puhoi then ending at the coast of Whangaparaoa Peninsula. It's mostly used by Kayakers who enjoy the local scenery.

I hope your week has been good so far. For me it's been pretty insane. My 2 days off start today and I have absolutely no plans but to relax. Daylight savings started today so us Southern Hemispherers put our clocks forward last night in preparation of Summer.

Friday 28 September 2018

Oromahoe Historical Church

Along the way on my fascination for historical buildings and churches we found this one about 15 minutes out town recently. The Oromahoe Church is owned by a trust and is next door to a Marae. It's about 120 years old and situated on land in a very country-ish area. According to the Papers Past website the church was built around 1880 but there aren't any further details.

Now when we find a Maori church we never immediately enter the gates. We are not of that culture so a huge amount of respect and caution is necessary - it's like barging into someone's home, we would prefer to be welcomed or invited there, we were unable to enter and see the inside.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Flame trees and shed murals

Every now and again when we are driving if I see something interesting I ask the other half to pull over so I can take photos then research it when we get home.

This one was very bright and colourful. According to the sign that was on the fence a small group of local owners consulted other people in the community and asked artist Chris Wilkie to paint a mural on the outside.

This is his version of the history and landscapes of the Purerua Peninsula through the achievement of the winning Ngati Rehia Waka Ama team in the 2013 national regatta.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Rangihoua Heritage Park

We got out for a visit out to Rangihoua Heritage Park this morning - this is a place the other half has been itching to see for a while.

From the top of the walk way this was the view we had of the Kerikeri Inlet Harbour - so beautiful on a sunny Spring day like today. From the top it was about a 30 minute walk to the coast and along the way we trekked along a slightly muddy 4 wheel drive track. 

Rangihoua Pā and Kainga (village) was the local town at the time of the mission settlement, home to many hundreds of people including Chief Ruatara, Māori leader and friend of Reverend Samuel Marsden. The people of Rangihoua Pā were the protectors of the settlement in its early days.

Today only a few terraces remain of the first European settlement established by the Church Missionary Society at Rangihoua Bay in 1814. In 1832, the settlement moved to more fertile land at Te Puna, a few kilometres to the west.

Lots of Kowhai trees around our area at the moment too - their name in Maori means "yellow".

The Park was established by the Marsden Cross Trust Board together with its partners Ngāti Torehina, the Rangihoua Native Reserve Board and the Department of Conservation. The prime objective is to inform and educate the people of New Zealand and visitors from abroad of the significance of Rangihoua and the events of 1814 and the years that followed.

Marsden Cross (above) marks where the Reverend Samuel Marsden preached his first sermon on Christmas Day 1814. That line of trees in the above photo is where the track started at the top and carried on along down the hill.

There are cultivation lines running down the slope that may be the gardens Marsden’s travelling companions referred to as “plantations of kumara, potatoes and other vegetables”. 

The terraces that you can see on this slope today are where the missionaries’ homes were and also the country’s first school house. 

So it was back towards the way we came but firstly through this short native bush walk. Next weekend another adventure...

Thursday 20 September 2018

Very quiet Oponini

This is one very quiet place in the off season times of Autumn, Winter and Spring. Oponini is located on the west coast of Northland. In 1855, John Webster, who had arrived in New Zealand in 1841, bought 700 acres of rough land at Opononi and established a homestead and pastoral farm which he developed into a showplace, entertaining vice-royalty several times. He also built a wharf, gum-store and a trading store. In 1894, Webster put the house and farm on the market. The store and gum store were taken over by Alfred Sprye Andrewes who later converted the gum store into a two storey hotel.

Opononi became famous throughout New Zealand in the summer of 1955 and 1956 due to the exploits of a dolphin called Opo. The Opononi Post and Telephone was opened in 1892 and operated until 1989. The road between Opononi and Omapere was developed in the mid 1930s leading to ribbon development. In 1959, a fire destroyed the Opononi Hotel and Opononi Store. Information from: Hokianga Tourism.

On the brief time we were there it was very quiet, the pub was closed and the only sign of action was a fishing charter taking people out into the harbour. A nice spot, but a bit too quiet for me.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

It's all on in the vege garden

Over the last 6 weeks or so I've been watching my vege garden quite closely. The plants have gone from being tiny seedlings to being about 3/4 way grown.

That's about the size of it - this was fully built and full of soil when we first moved in, all we had to add was some manure and water.

As I've mentioned previously I like the idea of companion planting which is adding herbs and certain flowering plants to combat those nasties we don't like in our gardens. The Calendula plants have just started flowering and the basil, mint and parsley are growing nicely. All up I have in there miniature Silverbeet, Beetroot, Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce, Broccoli and Cauliflower.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 16 September 2018

A spring visit to Roland's Wood

Earlier today, as it's day 1 of my 2 days off every week we got out to explore a local place called "Roland's Wood".

This is somewhere that you could liken to an English woodland with a Kiwi twist. Lots of blossoms and Magnolia flowers.

But also carpets of Bluebells covering the ground as well as various Beech trees, Oaks, Gingko, Tupelo.

Different pathways to different areas of the park made it a nice Spring outing - good to get out especially as I'm getting over a head cold.

Pink and red Rhododendrons lined one of the pathways near the top.

This Rhododendron bush was near lots of clumps of Daffodils and Jonquils.

The other half walking along one pathway further down the hill. We didn't realize though until we were starting to leave that it is actually a dog park and there were some very well behaved pups there wandering around.

Lots of orange Clivia also enjoying the woodland scene. This park was originally owned by a local man named Roland Sansom who retired in Kerikeri and bought this 30 acres of land from his parents.

It was here that he started planting Bluebells along with various trees, shrubs and bulbs in 1985.

Sadly he passed away in 2001 but the area is now owned by a trust and under the care of the Far North District Council. I'd like to see what everything looks like once Autumn comes in March/April so maybe I'll be back to visit then.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Camping at Rangiputa

Rangiputa Beach is one place that is so just peaceful and beautiful. This tiny wee beach side settlement is located within the Karikari peninsula and consists of 2 settlements - 1 is Whatuwhiwhi and the 2nd is Tokerau beach. Very quiet, beach and when we were there exploring it we were the only ones around except for someone launching their boat from the ramp.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Mystery object at Taupo Bay

When the other half and I stopped at Taupo Bay a few months ago on our Northland journey we spotted this strange looking thing on the beach with pieces of driftwood in it.

At first I thought it was some kind of sink or basin then we realized it looked like an old washing machine bottom, like one of the retro wringer ones our parents probably had. Looks like it's been well used.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Bees and lavender

We don't own our house, we rent it - apparently it was owned by an elderly lady before the currrent owner purchased it. It has quite an amazing garden, in the front there is a mixture of cottage garden type perennials and annuals plus some miniature natives like flax.

Around the back there are 2 large lavender plants - I'm quite amazed how many bees are covering it at the moment, they just seem to love them. Bees are one insect I try to encourage and in my vege garden I have some cauliflower, broccoli, calendula, marigolds, beetroot, parsley, thyme, salads and lettuces and spinach. I'm very aware of planting the companion way where you put herbs next to certain vegetables, it's a more natural way to garden. Hopefully by Summer there will be bees and ladybirds in there too keeping the nasties away.

Friday 7 September 2018

Summer days at 90 Mile beach

This is one place I want to get back to once Summer comes from December until March. 90 Mile Beach is one of those places that goes on and on stretching from Kaitaia up to Cape Reinga. It's on the west coast of our North Island and is approx 88 miles long.

Its beach and sand dunes are popular with tourists - this area has been the culprit of quite a few shipwrecks in the old days. Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear drove along here in one of their episodes with James May.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Charlie's Rock Waterfall

A couple of weeks ago on our quest to find local waterfalls around our area the other half found this one online - it's called "Charlie's Rock Waterfall".

So it takes about 15-20 minutes in total through a short pathway and bushwalk which included climbing over some muddy tracks and slippery rocks.

But totally worth the view considering this is what we found at the end. A very warm Spring day with some tourists jumping off the rocks into the cold water.

Up until recently the waterfall was accessed through private property but I believe the local council through some hard work organized public access.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Pukeko birds galore!

Since we've moved here to Kerikeri I've noticed there are a lot of these birds just about everywhere compared to anywhere else I've lived. The NZ Pukeko (pronounced poo-keck-oh) loves swampy, wet places and sometimes we see them on the edges of motorways because they love scrounging around for leftovers.

They have black and blue features with red beaks and unfortunately aren't very intelligent at all. Unlike our national Kiwi birds these ones aren't endangered at all because they are prolific breeders but they are predators of baby ducklings and are sometimes regarded as pests.


It's not often I get to Devonport on Auckland's North Shore as there are 2 ways to get there. One is by ferry from the opposite side...