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Showing posts from November, 2019

The glory of Rainbow Falls

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This is one spot in the far north of NZ that I miss. Rainbow Falls or Waianiwaniwa as it's named in Maori means means "waters of the rainbow is located on the Kerikeri River. Standing at 27 metres it's a very popular spot for tourists - we first visited here when we were on holiday in 2018 just before we moved there.

Most waterfalls are made when the soft rock erodes but this one is made of hard basalt layer of rock beside softer mudstone. There is a walking track next to the carpark which is about 3.5km long and leads to the Stone Store and Mission House. It also passes through a kiwi zone which means you can't take dogs for obvious reasons.


When I re-visited here last Summer it was with my daughter and it was a scorching hot day. A year later we are living in a completely different town and still pondering where to next. I think I mentioned in another post that we may be moving to the South Island - at this point we are still negotiating the pros and cons but if it…

Moving the Ports of Auckland

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I'm not sure if this story has made the overseas news or not but there was talk recently about the NZ government thinking about moving one of our main ports in Auckland up north to Marsden Point.


It seems that Auckland City has become a bit too overcrowded since it's beginning so the potential move could be a good thing.  Currently the port sits on 140 acres of land most in Commercial Bay, Official Bay, Princess Wharf and Mechanics Bay full of storage areas and wharves.


Marsden Point however lies 30 km south of Whangarei (which has it's own port too) on the same coast and 140 km north of Auckland.  At the moment the proposal is in study mode but they are hoping to start the shift within 15 years. Auckland will remain being the port for cruise ships, ferries etc.

Linking up with My Corner of the World and Skywatch Friday.

Vexta - Miya Tsukazaki

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On our recently trip to MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) in Auckland we saw so much but one thing that caught my eye was the artwork painted on alot of the buildings. This one named "Vexta" was painted by Mia Tsukazaki in 2016 and was done to symbolize the world's love of plastics.

According to their website it explains the artwork as this:
"Plastic was invented in 1907 and in the short since since it's birth we have firmly embedded it into our lives, our environment and now inside our bodies. Ever single piece of plastic ever made still exists on earth and now it is breaking down into tiny particles in our seas and being consumed by us...the world is choking on it's plastic consumption. Now is our time to find ways to create a world without plastic. This artwork is a meditation on the consumption of ideas, dreams, plastic particles and the inter-connectedness of life. A woman is being fed plastics representing these themes from an outstretched ha…

Return to Alberton House

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In Auckland City'sMount Albert stands this grand old lady. Alberton House was built in 1863. This entrance is from the side where the driveway is, I will show the front of it later on...altogether the house has 18 rooms.


Inside is the parlour room, this was used to welcome visitors for tea and cakes etc. Quite useful when people were calling on a member of the family.


The dining room, doesn't quite look like a huge table, probably just enough for only the members of the family. Apparently all the furniture etc in the house was used and left by the family. I just love the coloured glasses though.


The kitchen, coal range and scullery etc - again quite modest. There have been rumours over the years that apparitions have been seen in this part of the house, perhaps the servants are still keeping busy here.


Now when I was growing up my parents didn't have alot of money so mum use to take us to places that were either cheap or free, this is one place I remember visiting and fro…

Is it too early for Christmas?

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May the shells on the beach remind you that treasures arrive every day in the form of simple things...
Life is good. I confess I lost the magic of Christmas a few years ago when I started working in retail. All the rude, self entitled, demanding people sort of put me off enjoying that time of year - it became a bore and unimaginative. This year I'm not working in the same place and it's quite a nice feeling. Last week I ordered on sale a 3 pack of glass Christmas lights that change colour every 10 seconds fading from one to another. I anticipate I'll be putting them up along with sparkling lights out on the front of our house in the first week of December, anything earlier just isn't my thing but for now I'm feeling good for the first time in a long while.

Linking up with My Corner of the World and Skywatch Friday.

The Tomarata Fireworks Display

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Every year one of the local primary schools holds a Fireworks Display in one of the empty domains. This particular area is a farming community so fundraising is a huge part of their efforts to maintain and look after their students. Usually November 5th is Guy Fawkes day here in NZ but this was held the week after.


Since we've had the other half's daughter here from Perth for the last 2 weeks she decided to go with 2 or my 3 children (the 21 year old and the 19 year old). I figure they probably wouldn't appreciate us oldies going along with them so we thought they would appreciate the freedom.


I think the fireworks are usually donated and it's nice to have a display like this that many many local people can turn up and have a safe enjoyable night. The fireworks are huge and run for a couple of hours, I do think that private sales should be banned and displays like this should be encouraged, far too many idiots out there, don't you think?

Linking up with Our World …

Ngati Manuhiri - Iwi Guardians

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It's been an interesting week so far. Yesterday I started at the new job, I found out it is only casual work over Christmas which suits me far more than permanent work. It means if and when we decide to move I'm not tied down but this morning I did have a bit of a scare.

I usually keep quite fit and well but within the space of 3 hours I'd had 3 dizzy spells where I felt sick and faint, something I've never experienced before. Managed to get a doctor's appointment and found out I probably have a middle ear that's slightly out of balance, I don't normally take medication except on the odd occasion when it's needed so after taking the prescription I feel alot better and expect to have no symptoms within the next few days.


Anyway I discovered this Pou Whenua (land post) on our last visit to Goat Island.  I have a thing for carvings and sculptures, I think they're extremely artistic. This one reminds me of a Maori Taniwha stands at the entrance and loo…

123 Grafton Road

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See that lovely old villa on the left? Located at 123 Grafton Road in Auckland City it was once derelict, falling apart with rotting windows and joinery. Now it is being used by the Falling Apple Charitable Trust who purchased it in 2013 with the intent of promoting culture, art, music, education, health, sustainability and well-being in the community.

The restoration includes help from 250 volunteers both local and from abroad and according to my research the villa was built around 1882. It was owned by a George William Basley and his wife Frances - it is mostly made of Kauri. Originally governor William Hobson purchased the land in 1841 with local chiefs Kawau, Tinana and Reweti Tamaki signing the deed of sale.

Over the years the property was passed between different owners until in 1976 it was sold to Housing NZ where it was used as a boarding house, a drug rehab center and privately rented. In 2011 it was placed in Auckland City Council's heritage list and is now being tastef…

Armistace Day in Paeroa

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Today is our Armistace Day here NZ also known as Remembrance Day - this symbolizes our thanks for all the men and women who have fought in all wars but especially WW1. The coming of peace was on the 11th hour on the 11th day of 1918 and 2 minutes silence is normally observed in memory of the Kiwis who died while serving their country.

This particular mural in Paeroa depicts the branches of of the NZ military forces, a howitzer and a naval anti-aircraft Oerlikon Cannon.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

There's a leak in the house

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We've had a bit of excitement in our house over this week. About 4-5 days ago I noticed a small wet patch on the carpet in our bedroom and at first I thought the other half had spilled his glass of water he takes to bed with him at night.  Thursday night we saw that the wet area had spread quite a bit so we phoned our landlord who said he would come up yesterday morning.

After he arrived and started looking around he found that a part of our ensuite shower was leaking and that it was just as well we had gotten hold of him when we did. Hopefully now there will be no further issues, we just have to leave the underlay and the carpet to dry along with the concrete foundation.

We did get another shock though, we check our water 22,000 litre tank weekly to see the level of water and discovered we were down to about 30 cm. Over Summer we usually don't get much so what we have has to last until March/April. I think that with 7 people in the house this week we've probably been a w…

It's heatwave time

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A couple of weeks ago we were exploring the Mahurangi Peninsula and stopped in Algie's Bay. It was already a warm day, it should've been an indication of what was to come.

I have very pale skin due to my Irish/Scottish/English ancestry so when I go out in the sun I have to put on sunblock, usually only particular brands work otherwise I end up red as a beetroot in a lot of pain.


At that point we were thinking of moving down this way but decided against it as the level of traffic that goes through Warkworth would be too stressful.

Anyway this week we've had record temperatures for this season. Usually Spring is temperamental, you get a mixture of rain and a bit of warmth. This week we've been in the early to mid 20s and other parts of the country have been up to 30. It really feels like Summer already.


I've had to finish my home help part time job I had, when I first started I knew the work wasn't regular but didn't quite expect it to be this bad. On averag…

Pied Shags at Goat Island

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Yesterday on a road trip we were out at Goat Island. My 19 year old who has his learner licence and is about to go for his restricted licence drove us there, it's nice to see him getting more confident and better with driving. Anyway, one of the first things I saw there after getting out of the car was this nest high up in one of the trees. I think these birds are Pied Shags (Karuhiruhi) and I see a baby in the top nest, they usually live in coastal areas.


Both parents take care of the chicks and they mainly feed on fish 6-15 cm long but also on shellfish. They were endangered but are now recovering. From what I've read their nests can be made of bits of rubbish, twigs, sticks, seaweed, grasses and foliage.

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

The old Grafton Bridge

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How did your Halloween go this week? It came and went for us, we had a few groups of children knocking on our door and we already had a bowl of sweets ready to give out but apart from that it was pretty quiet.

Anyway earlier this week we traveled to Auckland to pick up the other half's step daughter from the airport. On the way we explored parts of the city - now I grew up in Auckland and worked in the central city for many years so sometimes I miss it.

This iconic structure named the Grafton Bridge is on the outer fringe and opened in 1910. It links up Grafton Gully to Karangahape Road, Auckland Hospital and the Auckland Domain. At the time it was built it was the largest concrete bridge arch in the world. Originally the first bridge built was made of wood at 360 feet long and 85 feet high - this one was built in 1885 but as population grew people voiced their opinions about the safety of the structure.

In 1907 the Auckland City Council took tenders to build the new concrete bri…