Monday 31 May 2021

Wongi Wilson in Taupo

Another mural from Taupo this week. Painted by artist Wongi Wilson this one for Graffiato was part of the Taupo Street Art Festival in 2018. Wongi's interest in graffiti developed at a young age and for over 25 years he has watched the art form grow from virtual non-existence to a blossoming, pervasive creative influence across New Zealand.

Wongi has played a major role in transformation of graffiti art in Otautahi Christchurch and is synonymous with the rise of street art muralism in the city. From media coverage to featuring in documentaries and various publications as well as festivals, his murals have served to transform walls throughout the city and beyond.

Btw is anyone else having issues with images not showing up on Blogger? It seems one minute photos etc are here and the next they're not. Hopefully it will sort itself out.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 29 May 2021

Under the bridge

 I was in Totara North a few days ago and parked down on the path next to the bridge that leads from the main road to the turnoff into that town. As it was the "Blood Moon" this week the tide would've been extra full, usually we have king tides when the moon is full and as I was driving along the road the water was just about up on the tar seal. With alot of mangroves here it would be pretty good fishing I think.

We are looking out on a bit of a grubby day this morning, typical Winter's day with loads of rain. I think it will be pyjamas and hibernating.

Thursday 27 May 2021

Foggy in Kaeo

Every Thursday I drive about 45 minutes out to Kaeo and last week I drove through alot of fog. You can't really see it through the main road where the shops are (above) but it was hanging over the mountains just before the town and on the way out at the end of this street. It's all because our Autumn days have been sunny but the nights are chilly. 

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Tales from the Mosaic Chair

In 2012 the Focus Pahia Group came together to create this Mosaic seating area near the waterfront. Organisers of the Mosaic Chair project had a vision:  that residents and visitors to Paihia would relax on their beautiful artwork while gazing out at nature’s beautiful artwork, The Bay of Islands.

This project was our longest running and the one that attracted the largest number of volunteers. The mosaic chair was crafted by “hands-of-the-world” – passersby, often visiting town from overseas or other parts of New Zealand,  took part in laying the mosaic pieces!  In true phantom style sections of the mosaic were worked on at home and applied to the chair when ready. The wooden seating (wood slats left over from the Bay Belle project) was designed and crafted off-site and installed just before the unveiling. Today, the mosaic chair is photographed and utilised daily, having place of pride on Paihia’s waterfront.

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

Monday 24 May 2021

Kaikohe Cycle Trail Mural

There are alot of cycle trails around the far north that are extremely popular. This mural on the back of a building in Kaikohe was painted in 2018 by artist Dallas August and blessed by local Kaumatua Ted Wihongi. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 22 May 2021

Fishing in Leigh

While cleaning up some of my stored photos I found this shot that would've been taken about 8 years ago in Leigh, just out of Matakana. Fishing is a popular sport here in New Zealand and most people either use a tractor or a large vehicle to take their boat out into the water. As this photo was taken on a Winter's day I'm hoping the 2 fishermen caught some nice fish as it's the perfect season to be out on the water.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday 20 May 2021

Crunching Autumn Leaves

I just love Autumn, it's one of my favourite seasons and I was happy when I was able to snap these photos last week while visiting some friends. 

It's not often we see these sorts of colours up here because people don't seem to like cleaning up the leaves after they fall off the tree but I think it's all so pretty.

While it's nearly hibernation time here, this week has been quite trying for me. Have you ever been around someone who you get along with most of the time but every now and again they seem to suck the positivity or happiness out of you? It does my head in. I ended up taking a day off work and spent the day at home with a good book and keeping an eye on one of our 3 cats. 

One of our neighbours passed away about 6 weeks ago, her family asked if we would rehome her 2 cats and after we agreed they bought over some food for them. One of them is a manx and got quite ill so after a not so cheap vet visit she is back home and just about back to normal. Apparently with Manx cats their pelvic areas have a tendency to be deformed so them passing bowel movements can go wrong which is what happened, this one is now on a strict diet of wet food and high fibre biscuits.

A travel bubble has just opened between New Zealand and Rarotonga, I'm almost wishing I could just take off on holiday and do literally nothing, doesn't that sound heavenly.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Pompallier Mission House

We were over in Russell last week on B's day off hoping to do a tour of the Pompallier Mission House but alas we were a bit late for the tour. History about this place is:  Built in 1842 it housed a printery where church texts were translated from Latin to te reo Māori, then printed and bound.  The property is just five minutes’ walk from the wharf at Russell, formerly known as Kororareka and infamous as the ‘hell-hole of the Pacific’ for its drunken and raucous behaviour. It was against this colourful backdrop that a group of French Marist Brothers – including Jean Baptiste Pompallier, after whom the property is named – arrived to set up a Catholic Mission in the settlement.

Unfortunately we were a bit late by the time we got there and B had an appointment that afternoon so it will have to wait until another time.

It looks very different to how it looks today (top photo) compared to this one taken in 1967. Edited to add: After searching for more information on the property I've found that the outside decking and rails seems to be removed because of structural issues the house has had over the years. 

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

Monday 17 May 2021

Taupo Trout Mural

There are literally murals all over Taupo and when we were there on holiday I spotted this painting on the side of a cabinet (we can't work out whether it's a phone cabinet or what) of 2 Trout swimming. If you don't know much about Taupo it's a freshwater lake that is well known for Trout fishing and apparently you need a licence to go fishing there. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 15 May 2021

Kawakawa's street lamps

When I visited Kawakawa last Spring with my 2 adult children I noticed this street lamp sitting next to a mosaic brick wall near the end of town.  Apparently this one is a replica made by the Lions Club of the original 3 that use to sit along the main street in 1904. The acetylene gas was housed in the base and lit by the gas lighter. 

Linking up with  The Weekend Roundup and Weekend Reflections.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Auckland Harbour Bridge at night

I'm one of those people who always has my camera on hand, I managed to snap this one night while we were staying in Bayswater in Auckland. This is our very own harbour bridge all lit up. Enjoy

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 11 May 2021

The signalman's house

In Devonport halfway up Mount Victoria is this cute little period house now named "The Michael King Writer's Centre". Michael King was New Zealand’s most prominent writer of non-fiction. He had a great sense of humour, huge curiosity, and a scholar’s intensity, but always with a popular touch.

His histories appealed, beyond any specialist audience, to the wider New Zealand public. This house can now be used by writers who need a quiet place to work.  Originally this house was known as "The signalman's house" though. The first signalmen lived in a tent or a raupo hut on the top of Mt Victoria and later a house was built on the summit. The summit was fortified because of the Russian scare in the 1880s and it was eventually taken over by the Defence Department. In 1898 the Auckland Harbour Board decided to build a new house for the signalman on the current site, about half way down the southern slope of the mountain. 

The first signalman started in 1842 and the 4th and final one lived here in 1934. 

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

Monday 10 May 2021

Kaikohe Berries


Another mural spotted in Kaikohe recently, this one was painted by Charles and Janine Williams named "Kaikohe Berries" with paint donated by the Kerikeri Colour Centre. They also regularly paint other murals around New Zealand including one in I posted about in 2017 from Tauranga.

This particular mural tells the story of the town which was named after the Kohekohe fruit that sustained people in times of hardship. The diamond background represents a bird's eye view of the maunga (mountain) Tokareireia or Kaikohe Hill. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 8 May 2021

Belmont street view

 In between Bayswater and Devonport in Auckland is the suburb of Belmont, which means "good view or hill" from a farm estate of the same name  that was subdivided in 1885. It's a popular area to live in due to a well known high school "Takapuna Grammar" being nearby. I snapped this street photo while we were in town briefly on our holiday when B popped into one of the shops in this photo.

This week has been pretty full for me. I've ended up giving notice at the garden centre that I work weekends in. I've been working since I was 16 when I left high school and most of the jobs I've held have required me to work either a Saturday or a Sunday or both so I'd kind of like to see what having weekends off is like. I've decided to instead work 4 days during the week with my support work Tuesday to Friday instead which will mean a bit more money too. But I'm ready for change.

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and  Weekend Reflections.

Thursday 6 May 2021

Whakamaharatanga Hoia o Te Arawa

This rather interesting memorial located in one corner of the Government Gardens in Rotorua caught my eye recently.  The original idea for this came from the Ohinemutu Native Patriotic Assocation in 1919. Later the Te Arawa Trust Board took over the project and still cares for the memorial today. The board hired sculptor William Henry Feldon to design it which he did alongside local iwi (tribes).  He then created the memrial with architect Edward La Trobe Hill overseeing the project. The statue of Rangitihi, at the bottom is a replication of the original which was vandalised in 1936 created by Rakei King in 2018.

King George stands on the pedestal, below him is the star Rehua which is said to have guided the Arawa Waka (canoe) to New Zealand. 

Under this section are a tier of panels which depict: King Edward VII, Queen Victoria, King George V, a white marble cross, a navy seaman, a red cross nurse holding a floral wreath, an army soldier in a mirrored stance to the seaman.

Under another tier is a section of panels depicting: Maori weapons, local missionary Reverend Thomas Chapman, governor Hobson signing the Treaty of Waitangi under the watchful gaze of Ngati Whakaue chief Tanira Te Tupara, the God Puhaorangi looking down from the heavens at the beautiful maiden Kuraimmonoa. 

Another panel shows the Maori Regimental Badge which has 2 Maori weapons crossed under a crown, a further 2 panels which list the names of those men from Te Arawa who died during the war. The figure standing on the stone block on the steps is the Te Arawa chief Rangatihi, on the front stone block is an image of the Te Arawa waka (canoe) and lastly the Krupps field gun is thought to have been captured by the Maori Pioneer Battalion at Le Quesnoy, northern France.

Phew so that is alot of information!

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 4 May 2021

The energy of Opepe Cemetery


B introduced me to this place, tiny Opepe Cemetery just off the Napier Taupo highway where he said not many people knew about which is maintained by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

Opepe was a settlement in New Zealand, a few miles southwest of Taupo. It was the scene of an attack between European militia and Maori on 7 June 1869 in which nine members of the militia were killed.  The Opepe Maori settlement was at the intersection of two major pre-European walking tracks (Taupo-Napier and Urewera-Tokaanu). It was the birthplace of the Maori leader Te Rangitahau

During Te Kooti's War, in early June 1869 Te Kooti and about 150 of his supporters moved towards Lake Taupo in the center of the North Island. At Opepe, just short of Taupo, they ran into party of fourteen Militia, who were camped in the abandoned village. Nine of the militia were killed with no loss to Te Kooti. One of the men, who was drying his uniform, escaped completely naked across rough country in mid-winter, and was awarded the New Zealand Medal. A military stockade was built at Opepe in 1869 but closed in 1885. The township thrived for several years in the late 19th century. 

We walked through a 10 minute native bush walk before we reached the cemetery and strangely enough we could both feel the strong energy in the air.  At one point as I was rounding a corner a huge fern frond dropped to the ground next to me and nearly made me jump.

There are 2 tracks that lead off from the main entrance, one that is about 90 minutes long and the one we took. Two of the graves hold the bodies of the nine members of the Bay of Plenty Cavalry who were killed on 7 June 1869 by Te Kooti's advance guard: Alex McKillop, Charles Potier, Hector Ross, Michael Slattery, Ernest Lawson and Charles Johnson.

The other three are the graves of later settlers: Edward Andrehen, Henry G. Leslie and W. Turner.  The totara headboards are the original ones, which have been repainted several times over the years. However, they were showing the effects of time, and it is suspected that water ingress was causing the paint to peel and crack. This process has been completed and the headboards were re-installed in the little cemetery at Opepe by Department of Conservation staff on Christmas Eve 2010.

Monday 3 May 2021

Made in Italy Mural

On a recent stop in South Auckland, Bombay to be exact just off the motorway is a group of shops. This whole area has come a long way lately, it use to be only a farming area but now has a number of fast food outlets including this clothing shop named Made in Italy - Sallie Clough where this wee mural on the side is of 2 well dressed women, I'm guessing it's advertising her business and attempts to find out the artist have come back empty. 

The Bombay Hills are between Auckland and Waikato close to Pukekohe. The region is named after the ship "Bombay" which first landed here bringing settlers originally called "Williamson's Clearing" in 1863. The ship itself was named after the Indian city of Bombay, now "Mumbai".

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday 1 May 2021

Fast moving Aratiatia Dam

On one of the drizzly rainy days we spent in Taupo recently we thought it would be a bit different to visit Aratiatia Dam  to see the gates open where water would flow through to the river below. At the top normally this boat and it's owner take people out for jetboating experiences, I've done that before in Queenstown and it's really not my thing.

The huge gates had opening times of 10am, 12pm or 2pm, we chose the morning one. You can either stand on either side of this bridge and look over or walk down a designated track next to one end which is what I did.

This shot was taken while standing on the bridge facing both the gates.  The name "Aratiatia" means "Stairway of Tia" after the legendary Maori explorer Tia who first arrived at the rapids and was fascinated by the tiered form. 

This memorial stone says "This Kohatu is dedicated to the people of Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa. Near the Aratiatia Rapids was the settlement 'Atahaka' one of the many Maori settlements. Atahaka had cultivations, cherry trees, burial places and a river crossing place nearby".

There were 2 tracks, this one took 10 minutes to walk down to and the other took about 30 minutes as it leads further up for a higher view.

We heard 3 loud sirens, starting at 15 minutes 5 minutes apart and then the gates slowly opened letting water through which falls 20 metres in the space of 1 kilometre. The rapids have been harnessed to produce environmentally sustainable hydro-electric power and the station was first built in 1964.

 So apart from not being allowed to swim there for obvious reasons this place was part of a memorable scene from the movie "The Hobbit - The desolation of Smaug" when the dwarves are escaping from the captivity of the elves by hiding in barrels which were thrown down stream.

Here is a video I found on youtube someone else uploaded - you'll be able to hear the siren going off at the final warning and the water rushing through the river.

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and  Weekend Reflections.


  Photo taken last time I was in Westport. I do like brightly painted buildings, especially old ones like this. I personally prefer to make ...