Thursday, 31 October 2019

Paddling at Snell's Beach

So nice to be out and about in the Spring sunshine. We stopped at Snells Beach, just out of Warkworth so it would be about maybe 50 minutes from where we live. After the drive I paddled in the low tide and walked barefoot on the sand.

We're not sure why we've been bought back here to Mangawhai, there's a reason for it we just aren't sure why yet but this beach was one of the places we drove through on this particular day.

After driving around we decided that due to the level of traffic coming in and out of this town that it wasn't for us, so we will see what eventuates.

We have the other half's 20 year old daughter staying with us for the next 2 weeks. Just over 2 years ago she moved to Perth in Australia and now she's back for a brief holiday. Us  kiwis don't really celebrate Halloween that much, it's not that popular here so I hope you have a safe one.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday, 28 October 2019

The beauty of Kawakawa Balm

I have always loved this spot. At one part of our estuary there are various houses and holiday homes sited on top of the hills and cliff tops but this one particular one is right on the sand overlooking the water. Imagine waking up to the view of skies, clouds and waves? Bliss!

Anyway I've had a rather interesting experience this week. A few months ago the other half when we lived in Kerikeri fixed an internet problem on a property belonging to a lady named Rawi and her husband. Now this lady runs a business making natural products such as soap and skin creams etc.

(image from

She gave him a small bag for me containing a bar of coloured soap and a small tub of Kawakawa balm. At the time I was really touched so I emailed her to say thank you. Anyway, after we moved back here to Mangawhai I put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Last week I had a graze and put some of the balm on, by the end of the day it was healed up.

FYI the Kawakawa tree is one of the native plants used in Maori traditional healing. Rongoa means "medicine" so the use of herbs and plants is well known. It also involves spiritual healing, massage and natural health. After the positive experience I had with this product I think I'll order some more once I run out.

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

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Lots of people - no thanks!

A couple of weeks ago we stopped in Warkworth, a town about 45 minutes away. We really didn't want to go there as they had an annual event going called the "Kowhai Festival". Kowhai is one of our country's trees. It flowers in Spring and has lovely yellow blooms that attract the Tui.

I don't do large groups of people, I just don't - I 'd rather be with maybe 2 or 3 people at the most, I just find it too crowded in these sorts of situations. The main streets were closed off and it was hard to find parking.

The roads are full of different stalls - anything like real estate, political parties, crafts, foods, charities, clothing etc.  Apparently it's been running every year in October since 1970 and has been extremely popular even since.

Warkworth is one of those places that has grown immensely, 20-30 years ago it was a small country town - now it has branched out with those moving out of Auckland.

Anyway, after doing what we had to do we were glad to get out of there and head home.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

On a windy dusty road

This is one of the roads that turn off from the main road into our town, I've been wanting to stop and take a photo of the shed in particular and the daffodils for a while now but the wind has prevented me.

In the last 2 days we've had bad wind to the point where we had no electricity yesterday for 4 hours and apparently it wasn't just us, it also covered as far as Langs Beach and Waipu and back to Wellsford. It turned out to be a fallen tree that had bought some power poles down - credit to the guys who worked hard to fix it again.

Quite ridiculous but without electricity we were sort of at a loss, in the end I got a book I've been trying to get through and read some more of that but it makes you wonder how necessary it really is.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

A horse is a horse...

I quite often take my camera out with me when I drive around town and today I stopped at a farm I was visiting where the owner was telling me about her horse. Apparently the horse isn't far off giving birth to her first foal. I didn't know this before but apparently horses are pregnant for about 11-12 months, way longer than us humans and the owner said to me that once the waters break labour lasts for about another 30 minutes then it's all over.

I can't wait to see the new edition next time I'm there.

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Waipu Winner!

I think this is one of the most interesting murals I've seen so far. This one in Waipu Cove painted by Daniel Mills is geared towards the history of the town. Apparently the artist took about 3 weeks to research and was painted in 2007 yet still looks almost new.

Waipu is one of those places in NZ that was settled by Scottish immigrants about 150 years ago and includes a portrait of Reverend Norman McLeod, includes Scottish tartan how the old stores would've looked.

The mural was designed with input from the Waipu Museum and apparently school groups are seen here using the art for history lessons.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Fishing time at Scott's Landing

I first drove out here to Scott's Landing about 5 years ago and last week weekend we drove out there a good 45 minutes or so from home. Such a nice day and not much different from when I was previously here.

I happened to be reading their website and saw that a beach cleanup has been scheduled for early November. Definitely a good thing and something that should be done for every town on a regular basis - wishful thinking on my part maybe.

Anyway good news, I've been offered a permanent part-time job in another town about 20 minutes from here that I've decided to accept, start date is in 2 weeks time so looking forward to that.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Omaha Beach Bird Sanctuary

Here in NZ we have lots of birds that are critically endangered. Some of them live here at Omaha Beach, a small seaside town about 40 minutes south of us. The town itself is quite elite with all sorts of rich and richer people not only living in opulent houses but lots of holiday places too. I would estimate most of the properties as being worth well over $800,000 NZD.

Anyway to get through this part of the beach we had to enter a cage like area with sliding doors that automatically shut. Although there are rocks separating the main beach from the sanctuary there is still a a fenced off section where the birds breed. I think this is a great idea as where we live we have similar endangered birds that breed and we don't have fences only taped off areas with small signs that sadly people tend to ignore this anyway.

You may be able to see the poles in this photo, these have string linking them together as this is where the birds are breeding and feed in the estuary at low tide.

On the main part of the beach these Oyster Catchers were standing in the sunshine. Their conservation state is listed as "recovering". They are usually black with an orange bill and reached low numbers until they were protected in 1922, since then their numbers have slowly grown. They can live up to about 30 years old.

If you can see this little guy he's a Dotteril, their status is listed as "endangered" but they are slowly recovering. A total of 2075 northern NZ ones were counted in the 2011 breeding census. Southern Dotterils reached a low of 62 birds in 1992 but they have responded well to management and the post population fluctuated between 240 and 290 birds from 2005 to 2013. Since then there has been another decline and in 2015 there were fewer than 200 birds.

These ones are Eastern bar tailed Godwits and they fly long distances breeding in Alaska then fly to NZ staying over Summer and feeding on the flats from September until March. They are also protected but they are classed as "declining".

Sadly most people care about conservation here but we still get those who just don't care. There is suppose to be no vehicles, horses, cats, dogs, ferrets, stoats, rats and mice but people still drive in places like this, ride their horses and take their dogs near the birds and their nests.

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

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Bottles and fence posts

I just love the streets and alleyways of Auckland City. Considering I worked here for about 5 years in my first ever full time job when I was 17 years old it sure has changed alot over the years. High Street (above) use to be full of expensive label clothing shops and jewelers. I remember putting a silk shirt on lay-by once that was made by designer Keith Matheson.

Speaking of change....I read a news story 2 days ago about the possibility of the milk industry going back to using glass bottles here in NZ. I think that's a good thing so I'm excited about see what happens with that, I can't think why they ever went to plastic.

Another one I read was about a company who is turning plastic bags into fence posts for farming, another good move for our country. I hope more companies take this on and recycle things we can use because up until recently Asia was taking our plastic but this has now stopped so fingers crossed some good has come from it.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Top of the Goldschmidt Track

Near the carpark at our surf beach we have a walk called the Goldschmidt track named after a local family who have organized many walking weekends in our town. I've done this a couple of times now, it's pretty easy and only takes about 30 minutes up and down.

About halfway up the sandy steps this was the view out over the carpark and the estuary. Lucky it was pretty quiet but come Summer this place will be packed with visitors.

This one I believe is dog friendly but there are quite a few that aren't due to some areas being kiwi breeding colonies or fairy tern egg nesting spots.

The way down was a bit more rocky than the way up I think due to alot of rain that we had then. Sadly about a week after I took these photos a group of people were seen on CCTV lighting fireworks on the hill which caught alight and caused a ton of damage. We had the local volunteer fire service there plus 8 other brigades from as far as Ruawai and Whangarei helping out. I'm not sure if they caught the culprits yet.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Old cars at Matakohe

On Saturday the youngest and I headed out the 40 minute drive to Matakohe where the museum there was having a "Settler's Day". The museum is all about showing off our region's kauri gum history including information about the first people to settle there, the machinery they used, their houses and how they lived.

One thing that was highlighted there was local people bought their old cars to show off and these photos are just some of the ones we looked at.

I'm not particularly interested in new cars these days but I do love old vintage and retro cars, they're really something different.

I quite like the little blue one, what do you think?

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

Sunday, 6 October 2019

An old treasure

A few years back when both my grandparents had passed away (my Nana first, my Grandad later on), my immediate family and I were at their house trying to sadly sort through their possessions. I had asked my dad if I could pick something to remember my Grandad by. An old tin box caught my eye and once we arrived home I had a look inside...

I was astonished to find 4 very old looking cut-throat razors inside their original boxes. I never knew anything about them so yesterday I saw on one of our local Facebook pages that our local museum was hosting an antiques appraisal day. Tickets were $4 NZD so I snapped one up and ventured inside where I met a very nice man from Hamilton named Adam who advised me that these were over 100 years old from the Edwardian era and considering my Grandad was born around 1917 they were most likely his father's. They aren't worth a whole lot apparently, these ones about $100 NZD all up unless they were gold plated which would've been owned by a wealthy gent, but these quite clearly belonged to a working class man and were German made in origin.

At least I know more about them now...

Friday, 4 October 2019

Good Morning Mr Moon

I love mornings like this when I can grab my camera and get a good shot of the moon. Our Spring equinox was on September 23rd, around the time I took this photo. Days are slowly getting longer, mornings lighter.

Apart from being able to get outside more for my walks I've been accompanying my youngest on his driving lessons. Here in NZ if you have a learner licence you have to have someone who's had their full licence for 2 years or more next to you in the car when you go out driving. He's getting more confident and hopefully he will go for his restricted licence soon.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Walker's Passage

Set back along the waterfront of Russell is this commemorative patch of land which pays homage to a historical local.  Tamati Waka Nene was born sometime during the 1780s and died in 1871. He was the chief of the Ngati Hao people in the Hokianga region and important war leader. 

He fought in the musket wars of the 1820s, and after the death of Hongi Hika in 1828 he took on the responsibility of protecting the the Wesleyan missionaries in the Hokianga.

During the 1830s he joined the Wesleyan faith but he wasn't baptized until 1839 and took on the name of Thomas Walker after an English merchant who was the patron of the Anglican Church Missionary Society. This area that is marked with carvings shows where his house once stood.

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

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...