Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Visit to Wairere Boulders

Just over a week ago we visited a place we've been wanting to see for a while. Wairere Boulders is a nature park that was originally created by Felix and Rita Schaad in the early 2000s but now owned by Graham and Paula Grant. 

Not far from the entrance there was this little fairy door and sign on the outside of this tree and there were several others dotted around the park. 

We were the only ones there because it was a Monday so it was extremely quiet apart from the sound of birds chirping and water bubbling along the river.

Visitors can walk the trails, kayak along the river or camp in the campground next to the reserve.

There are various trails, some easy, some a bit harder with steps but also quite a bit of climbing over large boulders. B and I walk through nature walks regularly but there was no way my parents (who were with us) would've managed this.

The Wairere Boulders have slid down the hillsides from an eroding Pliocene basalt lava flow of the Kerikeri Volcanic Group formerly known as Horeke basalts. Many of the boulders have deep solution basins and fluting formed on their surfaces as they very slowly slid down the valley sides.

Usually karst landforms are formed by solution of calcareous rocks (e.g. limestone and marble) by mildly acidic percolating water. At Wairere, and elsewhere, basalt has been dissolved, probably over a much longer interval of time, by the production of weakly acidic humic acid in the leaf litter that collects around the roots of plants that grow on the top of the boulders, usually beneath a forest canopy.

On the top of the boulders this humic acid has etched out solution basins 20–50 cm across and of similar depth. Humic acid seeping down the sides of the boulders has, over thousands of years, dissolved deep, near-vertical flutes out of the hard basalt. In some places the fluting is no longer vertical as the boulders have rolled over or tilted since it was formed.

Millions of years of gentle erosion by this rain resulted in the amazing rock formations we see today, with some of the rocks sitting over 30 foot high.

The walk we did was called the "Boulder Loop" which lead over bridges, boardwalks, stairs under and over rocks along the valley floor, it tooks us roughly about 40 minutes.

We thought it was ok, the rocks were impressive enough but we probably wouldn't go back again.

 Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Maori Culture in Kaikohe

 Another mural on the side of a shop that's closed for business in Kaikohe, this one again I have been unable to find the artist but the painting looks like it's showing the richness of Maori culture in the region.

We are away this week on our annual holiday, this time to Taupo and Napier - I have set some posts by date to come up but we won't have internet access so I won't be able to visit you until we return. See you soon...

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Fountain on The Strand

One from when we lived in Tauranga - this was the morning we were waiting to set out on a Dolphin/Whale charter boat about 3 years ago. A crisp Spring morning on the waterfront known as The Strand next to apartment buildings, working office buildings, a railway track still in use and various shops. 

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup. 

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Over the fence

 Last time I drove through Okaihau, a local town about 20 minutes from here opposite our local cemetery after I parked my car I spotted these 2 workmen fixing a fence at the edge of a Kiwifruit farm.  They were there for quite a while and to me it looks like they are nailing some material at the top to protect the crop from prevailing winds in the Winter.

Linking up with Timeless Thursdays and Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Classic car love

Every now and again when I'm at work the odd classic car pulls up in the carpark, over the last few weeks I've whipped my phone out and taken these 2 photos - I just love classic cars.

Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 22 March 2021

All Blacks Moerewa mural

 Another mural this week from Moerewa, this one depicting the All Blacks rugby along with the fern, and next to it say the words "Waka Ama" which is a term distinguishing an outrigger canoe from other types of canoes. No idea who painted this one but it's nice to see a rendition of the late Jonah Lomu on there. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Pohui-nui Pa Site

Every time I drive through Kaeo I've wanted to stop and take a photo of this mountain but recently I wrangled my camera to get a shot as we drove past. Pohui-nui Pa site is just on the edge of town and you can see the layers that have been dug down the side of the hillside. 

 This particular pa site use to be fortified belonging to the Ngati Uru Tribe who arrived in Whangaroa around 1770-1775 having been drive out of the Rawhiti area of the Bay of Islands. 

As an example the pa site could've looked something like this - the layers were built into the hill to make it harder for the enemies to climb and easier for the occupatns to see who was coming up.

Linking up with Timeless Thursdays and Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Alfresco's in Paihia

A couple of weekends ago we visited a new restaurant in Paihia - this one is named "Alfresco's". Ever once in a while we try somewhere new to eat on our day off, this one was good. The boys ordered burgers and chips, pretty standard food and their helpings were pretty large. 

Of course I always have to be different, I ordered creamed paua (Abilone) with toast on the side to spread it on. I'm a huge seafood fan so I usually get a salad or some sort of fish/shellfish dish.

Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Please decide

 Another Kaikohe mural - this one is in the Marino Court area. After googling it I think this one maybe have been painted by kiwi Denis Wilford.  "Whakatau MaiRa" means in Maori "Please decide". 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Off road bus

 After we came out of our first lockdown last year I drove around down backroads past the odd Marae until down a little side road was this abandoned bus that was overgrown with weeds. Seems a shame to have it sitting there empty, I'm sure there are people who would make a house out of it considering New Zealand has major housing issues, many people live in motel accommodation, in their cars, over crowded houses or in tents. The real estate market here is absolutely crazy, depending on which town or city you live in depends on the house prices. Here the average price for a basic 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house is around $600,000 NZD and we find the hardest part is saving up a deposit for a mortgage more than anything.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Walk up to Akeake Pa Site

On Tuesday morning after B had gone to work I drove out to Opito Bay (our fishing launching spot for our boat) with the intention of exploring the nature walk there that leads to the Ake Ake Pa Site. Most nature walks managed by our Department of Conservation are dog free because of the kiwis that live in this area.

These are the first lot of steps at the start of the nature walk, weirdly enough it was at this spot I felt a sharp stabbing pain on the front of my ankle. I looked down, opened my sock and found a wasp hanging off my skin trying to sting me. After swiping it away the pain continued for another 15 minutes then gradually eased off - luckily I'm not allergic to insect stings.

This was looking back after the 2nd set of stairs - quite a nice even pathway uphill.

I was the only one there so it was so nice and peaceful even with the sound of Tuis singing away and the odd Fantail flitting around me curiously.

On my journey around the loop I counted about 6 possum traps all up. Possums here are not native, they were introduced through colonisation but now unfortunately they eat the native trees and plants so they are definitely not wanted.

At one pointed I saw this whiteboard leaning against a tree written by a Department of Conservation worker about some of the other traps that people had stolen.

After a 15 minute walk I reached the lookout point at the top of the Pa Site - amazing views looking out over the peninsula. The water is still still like a mirror - it would've a perfect day's fishing out there.

This part is the Tareha lookout point and offers views also over the Te Puna Inlet, Motupapa Island, Moturoa Island and the Kent Passage.

The original people of this Pa (maori village or defensive settlement) interacted with the earliest missionaries who sailed past on the way to the Kerikeri Mission Station (Store Store and Kemp House).

A chief named Tareha was an ally of Hongi Hika (who cut the flagpole down at Waitangi) gave his support to the local missionaries. He was well known for his bravery and skill in leading the warriors into battle.

He was also known for his huge size being a big man and large appetite. When missionary Samuel Marsden invited him on board his ship "Dromedary" there was not a large enough chair for him to sit in.

The first locality to attract the early whalers was the Te Puna area (near the river inlet), Chief Akeake would have contact with the traders through observation from the Pa.

Not much fungi up there but it's possibly the wrong time of year as we are in very early Autumn so maybe in a month or so there may be more.

Linking up with Timeless Thursdays and Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Save, save, save

 If you're a fellow kiwi like me you'd recognize the sign on the front cover of the building on the right. Save Mart to us is a place where you tend to find the best second hand stuff and there are stores scattered all over the country, the best one I've been to was in Tauranga. On this particular day I did stop in there and have a squizz but couldn't find anything to my liking. Also in the photo is a phone box, this one is owned by Spark one of the major phone/internet companies here, usually they have been covered in graffiti or the glass is smashed so to see the one in tact was a surprise.

On the left is a $2 shop as it's known also called "gold coin shops" or "coin and save" or "$2 shops" because our $1 and $2 currencies use to be notes but some years ago they were changed into coins instead much to peoples chagrins (we all know how coins are a pain to have in your purse or wallet).

Just another photo from Kaikohe...

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Moerewa Rugby Club Mural

 I spotted this mural in Moerewa recently painted on the side of their rugby club. No idea who painted it but it's sad that people have sprayed graffiti over parts of it. Even above, the window off the building seems to be falling off, in a state of disrepair even.  One of New Zealand's small quiet towns...

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

In the stocks

Last Winter while on a day trip in Russell B and I mucked around on the wharf and took photos of each other with our head and arms in the stocks that are on display there. 

There are other various displays there mostly for the tourists. Such a stormy Winter's day - it'll be like that here again soon...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday and The Weekend Roundup.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Waimamaku country roads

Further on from my day out with B last week, this is where we were. Waimamaku is south of the Hokianga Harbour and is a very small settlement.  

Because this is about 90 minutes away from where we live B and his colleagues are suppose to drive there only up to 3 times a week to fix peoples phone lines and internet faults etc if there are any, luckily they get paid for their travel.

While he was puttering around last week I took the liberty of taking a few photos (below) while I was in and out of the work truck during bouts of boredom.


There were about 5 houses up this long country road scattered quite a distance from each other but one of them had a garden that was full of Dahlias.

Can never resist taking photos of old abandoned sheds - not often I see metal ones, usually they are made of wood and falling apart.

Whatever these wildflowers are, they look like they would be good for being dried. 

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Through my lens, Tuesday Treasures, My Corner of the World, Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 1 March 2021

Kaikohe Culture Mural

 While in Kaikohe last week as I walked through the town I was surprised to see so many murals on the walls around town. This one was on the side of one of the buildings and although I can't find a name of the artist I can say this one depicts the Maori culture, a pigeon, a fish and cows from the farming communities around the area.

Annnnd it seems Auckland is back into a 7 day lockdown here due to a few selfish people. 2 people who are part of the latest cluster were tested and told to go home and stay there until the results came through. Instead the 1st person went to work resulting in the business having to close and the 2nd person chose to go to the gym and other places. I'm starting to wonder if people that don't do as they are told should be charged or fined to get the message through, thoughts?

Linking up with Mural Monday.

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...