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. 

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Take me home country road...

Along country roads just out of Kerikeri, this scenery greeted us last weekend. Perfect Spring blue skies, a hint of a breeze in the air. Instead of driving to one destination we just kept going. This gravel road looks out onto the Pureroa Peninsula coastline - can you see the sheep in the distance?

Friday, 19 October 2018

It's a gardener's day

Photo taken near the Stone Store and Kemp Mission House in Kerikeri on a typical Spring day.

Winter always likes to throw out one last cold blast and that is exactly what we have coming today. Hopefully it's over and done with quickly so we can get on with warmer weather.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Spring at the Piapia Reserve

On Monday we decided to drive around the local area and find some new beaches we'd seen on google maps, unfortunately the ones we had in mind looked privately owned as there were gated driveways at the entrances so we instead decided to just keep going.

One of the places we stopped at was the Piapia Reserve, a tiny little cove just off the main road. Apart from us there was only one other person there surfcasting on the main beach. Apparently camping is forbidden there but not car parking so we greatly enjoyed walking on the golden sand and feeling warmth under our feet. Near the signpost were piles of broken Kina shells - I've never tried Kina but when I was little my grandad had whole empty Kina shells  and he use to tell me they were sea eggs so that is what we have always referred to them as. Perhaps I'll get my chance one day.

Monday, 15 October 2018

The old Kerikeri Blacksmith's

Just opposite the Kerikeri Stone house is this wee gem. It's apparently the old blacksmith's shed which is approximately 160 years old.

However when we opened the doors we were in a for a huge disappointment. The interior and exterior have not been looked after very well which is a real big shame.

I was expecting it to be perhaps set up as it would've been once upon a time but it looks like the cafe next door are using it as a storage area. Could be a good learning experience for people if they actually looked after it. We need to look after our historical buildings in NZ.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

As you wish...

So it seems Kerikeri has a wishing well. So what would you wish for? I'm not sure I'd wish for anything really. Maybe enough money to be comfortable in life so I could share it around but then money isn't everything is it?

You may have noticed with commenting on my posts that I've changed it to word verification and moderating? Lately I've been having to deal with quite a few spam comments so for the time being I felt it was best to activate these two features.

Remember a while back I mentioned that I had taken a DNA test through Ancestry.com? And at the time the results had mentioned some Spanish/Portuguese ancestry on my mum's side? Well a few weeks ago my results were updated, apparently their tools they use for testing have been able to narrow down exactly the regions where her grandfather came from - it wasn't Spain or Argentina as we originally thought - it was actually China and the Philippines. Now that I think about it, it really doesn't surprise me because after I went looking through some old photos of other relatives and those who have passed I can see the Asian influence. The rest of Mum's side has been confirmed as a mixture of Irish/Scottish/Swedish and Dad's side has been confirmed as being Jewish/English - what a combination! Quite funny how it's turned out...

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Summer is coming!

Near there Kerikeri River Track we recently found this park with trees dotted here and there, some deciduous and some evergreen but all of them showing off some lovely green leaves at the moment. Such warm Spring days for us with a nice breeze in the air.

This area is just around the corner from the Stone Store and the Kemp mission house so not far to walk. It may be only October but it's already getting quite hot so Summer won't be far off - thankfully we have air conditioning pumps in 3 areas of our house so no doubt they will be getting used on occasion.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The old Kerikeri Stone Store

The old Kerikeri Stone Store was designed by a Wesleyan missionary named John Hobbs and built by William Parrot who was a convict between 1832 and 1836. .

It's purpose was to hold supplies for the Waimate Mission Farm but it was mainly leased as a Kauri Gum Store. The building is made of sandstone, local volcanic rocks and burnt shell mortar.

By the mid 1830's the store couldn't compete with local traders and it was then converted into a mission library then taken over by Governor George Grey for use as a gun barracks during the Flagstaff War.

Finally it was used as a boys school then sold to the Kemp family in 1874 as a general store. Now these days it's being used as a tourist attraction and to sell mostly Kiwiana products old and new.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Oh, that Wisteria!

Another Sunday spent out and about exploring the local area. This morning we were walking around the historical Kemp house and this climbing Wisteria caught my eye.

Last time we were here it was completely bare and looked like it had just had a good pruning.

I think this one is Wisteria Sinensis and it's deciduous over Winter. It only grows from October through to February which is our Spring/Summer period.

Pretty isn't it?

Saturday, 6 October 2018

The face of culture

When I first started travelling to the Bay of Plenty area in March 2015 I drove through this small town of Katikati - known as a "mural town". One of the motels I passed had this painting on the outside wall near a park - it caught my eye, so to speak just like the artist probably intended.

Named "The face of culture" this one was created by 400 potential artists of all ages who painted their small squares to a pre-set design. This was then carefully put together in 2015 to make the 4 faces of culture.

Pretty interesting huh?

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Overcast Opua Wharf

Opua wharf is maybe 45 minutes from Kerikeri, quiet small area where houses are built on the hills and cliffs. Down by the water is a Fish n Chip shop, wharf and marina. We weren't there for long, we had a quick look around and set off home again after - one of those overcast warm Spring days.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

The 2 white doves

So since we've moved here we've heard occasional cooing noises from our neighbour's roof and around the street and I've only seen 1 of these white doves so far. On Sunday we spotted them on our roof and although they were only there for a few minutes they stayed there long enough for me to run inside and get my close up lens. Friends have commented to me online that they tend to make a bit of a mess but luckily they weren't there for long before they flew off.




Other than that there is plenty of Spring life in the garden around the house but plenty of weeds too. I had to don my gloves and get into the soil and pick out the unwanted ones before they get any bigger.

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...