Sunday 29 September 2019

Moving forward with Spring

We put our clocks forward by 1 hour last night and I guess now that the mornings will be getting lighter earlier and the nights being longer our town will also be getting busier. It's a bit of a tourist trap here being right by the beach and yesterday we had the 2 houses either side of us being used by the families who own them. I guess with school holidays here for the next 2 weeks they are coming up to enjoy the scenery. One with a constantly barking dog and the other with 4 boys, I know which one I prefer.

And this morning for the first time ever we heard the Tsunami siren go off. They test it once in a while and depending on where you live some people can hear it and some can't. Other houses we've lived in we haven't heard it but this time we did. Apparently you can also get text alerts just in case so it's worth working out a plan if it ever happens.

Do you have an evacuation plan where you live in case of a disaster?

Thursday 26 September 2019

A taste of Summer

On Monday over the week of strangely warm Spring weather we've had, my sister and I drove out to a local surf beach about 10 minutes out of town. Te Arai is a long long beach and popular with surfers and swimmers alike. There are 3 entrances, first is through a forestry area, 2nd is at the end of a long gravel road and the 3rd is through another forestry road. This photo was taken after we arrived at the third spot, someone had put up a makeshift hut made of branches and Norfolk Pine leaves.

It was however near enough to a scorching hot day, I was regretting wearing a light jumper and black tights, think next time we go there on a warm day we'll be wearing lightweight Summer gear.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

A good conversation

Last week the other half, myself and my daughter were walking the long length of our local surf beach and on the way back to our car I spotted this group of older ladies having a natter.

And with a view like this, who wouldn't sit there and enjoy the scenery?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.

Sunday 22 September 2019

It's just for the birds

A few months ago my daughter purchased a bird feeder from Bunnings and until earlier this week it was sitting on top of a wheelbarrow by our back door.

The other half found it, filled it with bird seed and hung it up by our back fence. 10 minutes later we had this lot lining up watching us intently.

An hour later and in fact since then we've had a daily succession of both Sparrows and Green Finches. News spreads fast around the bird community it seems.

The Sparrows seem quite aggressive. They fly around the Finches and swoop on them until they lose their balance then they take their place. It's been very successful to the point where now we mix in nuts and bits of dried coconut in with the seeds - they seem quite pleased with it.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Early in the morning

I've been getting out most mornings to walk around town, sometimes I walk for about an hour and sometimes it's a bit less depending on what I see and find. Since the days are getting longer and the mornings are getting lighter I walked along our local estuary while the tide was out and saw this scene. Boats moored in the low tide, driftwood and logs stranded on the sand with blue skies above made me feel glad is Spring.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Edith Cavell Nursing Home

On the outskirts of Paparoa, a town about 20 minutes West of here is this wee gem, actually I shouldn't say wee as it is quite an extensive property. The old Nurse Edith Cavell Memorial Hospital is a shadow of what it once was. It's now privately owned, but about 12 years ago when my ex husband and I were looking at buying a house we were shown through this by the owner. I would've loved to have bought it but sadly he wanted more money than what it was realistically worth.

The day we visited 2 weeks ago there were workmen renovating the outside around the side and I didn't like to go in without permission from the owner. A bit of history says that it opened in 1917 and was named after Nurse Edith Cavell, a British nurse who had been executed by the Germans in Belgium in 1915. The hospital was closed in 1974 and is still privately owned but for over 5 decades so I'm sure that many local babies were born there. Apparently it has 4 bathrooms, high stud ceilings and a massive coal range - all of which could be beautifully restored. I wish I could buy it - oh the history!

And here is the lady herself.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and  My corner of the world

Friday 13 September 2019

SUP boarding anyone?

One thing I like to do each day is walk for between 30 minutes and 1 hour. This particular day, one of the few mornings we've had here where the Sun has come out was one where I walked further than I usually do down to one of our local bridges where I saw 2 people paddle boarding through the estuary. Water was still, sun was out, what more can you ask for in a Spring day?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Little town of lights

Kaiwaka known as the "little town of lights" is about 10 minutes from Mangawhai where we live. This road joins up our town to theirs but at the end is the state highway which runs through to Whangarei and the rest of Northland. The nicest shop there I think in my humble opinion is the Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, well known for it's specialty cheeses and gourmet food. Every time we go there my daughter and I stock up on Brie and Camembert. Last time I bought Farmhouse Smoked Brie which then went into stuffed portobello mushrooms.

Alot of the buildings are decorated with hanging lights which come out at night hence the name but it is a small town and originally it was a trading/commercial point from the late 1850s. As the kauri timber and and gum industries declined towards the end of the century dairy farming took over.

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

Monday 9 September 2019

Fantail by Thijs de Koning

Our town has an activity zone which is very very popular with families and teenagers. Not only is there a skatepark but there is also a play area and will also in the near future include a cricket patch, a barbecue area, walking tracks, bicycle tracks,  soccer field, flying fox and cafe. I've researched the artist of this mural which is on the public toilet and it looks like it was painted by local artist Thijs de Koning and celebrates one of our iconic birds - the Fantail.

The Fantail or Piwakawaka as it's known in Maori is quite a friendly bird. They don't often hang about in public places but much prefer quiet native bush areas and tend to curiously flit around people. They are not endangered but in the Maori world they are known to bring news of a death from the gods to the people.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 7 September 2019

The Old Post Office Guest House

One of the local icons in the nearby town of Paparoa is this historic building called The Old Post Office Guest House. Built in 1903 it was originally a post office for the town made of Kauri with an iron roof. Next door to it use to be a butcher's and a saddlery, both of which are no longer there, but this one has been renovated and is now a bed and breakfast. It is now managed by a lovely couple named Deb and Kelvin.

News from me: I finally got one of the jobs I went for, start training next week - looking forward to it.  And if someone could send some fine weather instead of the constant rain that'd be great. What's news with you?

Thursday 5 September 2019

St Michael and All Angels Hakaru

This wee church is somewhere I've been meaning to visit for a while. St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church is in Hakaru, about 10 minutes out of Mangawhai.

Built in 1887 it replaced an earlier church that was there in 1861 but as the community grew the original one became too small and was moved to Hukatere later on. This one is made of Kauri, cut and milled locally with an iron roof.

Graves in the cemetery include those one person from the South African War and 2 from World War One. The front memorial gates commemorate a local man named Frank Wintle who was killed in the North African desert in World War 2.

There are quite a few local names I recognized such as Tantrums, Stewarts, Blackwells and Wintles - descendants of those names still live around the area today. Unfortunately the doors were padlocked and we couldn't get inside to take interior photos.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Kaitiaki II by Fred Graham

Nevermind the electric bicycle to the right of this photo, what caught my eye was this large sculpture on the outside of the BNZ Bank in Queen Street, Auckland City.

Named Kaitiaki II (meaning food and protection) by Fred Graham it symbolizes the original foreshore and former waka (canoe) landing area before this place was reclaimed. It sits on the same site as where the Ngati Paoa Iwi kept their canoes.

I think it's quite a clever piece and I like the way it prompts me to research the Maori history of NZ.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.

Sunday 1 September 2019

Kaingaroa Village Unity Project

Back in 2017 the other half took me to the small forestry town of Kaingaroa Village. A very quiet small place with not alot of action, there was plenty of graffiti, vacant lots, broken down vehicles, barking dogs and unused/boarded up shops and buildings.

On the side of this Four Square building (the Kiwi equivalent of a corner shop/dairy/store) was the graffiti. I've done some digging as to who the artist was and all I could find was that it could've been done by Azah Wirangi as part of the Kaingaroa Unity Project back in 2017 so we must've visited the area just after it was completed.

This town was once a thriving forestry area and although there are still plenty of trees around, the forestry company that was once there is no longer and in it's place are abandoned empty buildings and sheds.

In the 1980s the government sought to sell the forests to private buyers but several Maori Iwi went to court to prevent the sale arguing that they were still the traditional owners of the land. After 20 years settlement was reached and the lands were returned but the forests themselves are still owned by Kaingaroa Timberlands Ltd.

Linking up with Mural Monday for this one.


  Westport, which is about 90 minutes north of Greymouth is one of those old coal/mining towns as I've previously mentioned. I spotted t...