Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Huntly Pouwhenua

These Pouwhenua (landmarks) along the new Huntly bypass section of the Waikato Expressway standout from the highway. We weren't able to stop but I had to quickly get a shot of them as we drove past. 

Apparently they symbolize the fairy people or Patupaiarehe and their connection to this part of New Zealand. Named "Te Kaahui Hakuturi" they stand 20m above the ground looking down onto travellers from the summit of the Taupiri Range. They are carved from treated radiata pine and each one looks in a different direction guarding all that come through the whenua (land). 

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

Monday, 28 June 2021

Ngapuhi Minds

 One of local shops in Moerewa has this mural on the front. I was unable to find out who painted it but the words "Ngati Hine Health Trust" are painted within it so maybe they have something to do with it. The trust was formed in 1987 to help address the health needs of local Maori to the area. The Ngapuhi tribe is associated with the Northland region of New Zealand centred mainly in Whangarei, Hokianga and the Bay of Islands.

So as Covid makes it's way continually around the world, the so called travel bubble we had going on with certain states in Australia seems to have blown up. One traveller, who apparently started feeling unwell on the plane over here from Sydney (I think) visited more than several places in Wellington (who is now in level 2) and now we are waiting to see if any cases come up. Somehow I don't think this so called travel bubble is a wise idea...

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

City Life

As many of you may not know I grew up predominantly in the suburbs of Auckland but spent a few years working in the central city. These days I am more of a country bumpkin but back then the city streets weren't as modern as they are today but I do miss the hustle and bustle along with the different ethnicities and cultures. Just as well we occasionally get back there...

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Big Bad boys

Seeing as I'm now in Kaeo every week with one of my elderly clients being a farmer I thought it funny to share this. 3 rather big bulls standing in the middle of the gravel road staring at me in my car, I didn't dare pass them in case they kicked a dent. It wasn't until they moved slightly and a car behind me drove past them that I made my move. Very passively they looked at me with the expressions of "how dare you disturb us enjoying the sunshine". Normally beasts like this are best left alone.

So I've been meaning to get my first Covid Vaccine for over a month now, frontline and healthcare workers have been among the first to be eligible for it. Yesterday I finally told myself to quit mucking around and got it, I walked straight in instead of having to pre-book. Apparently New Zealand mainly ordered the Pfizer one so apart from a sore arm I'm ok, 2nd dose has been booked for a month's time.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Pride Month

With June being "Pride Month" here in New Zealand I thought it appropriate that I shared someone who was and still is very special to me.  This is my mum's youngest brother Uncle Kerry who unfortunately passed away in 1978 from suicide when I was 7 years old - he was gay. We have depression, anxiety and autism through the generations of this side of my family. These days we can talk about our feelings with other people but back then you didn't talk about how you felt, you didn't talk about what was bothering you and your sexuality was kept behind closed doors.

I remember this man as being very kind, very gentle and very caring - all of us were devastated by his death. Personally I think if you know of someone who is struggling, either reach out and see if they want to talk or just make sure you are there for them. 

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Tuesday Treasures, My Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 21 June 2021


 Another mural this week from Taupo, there seemed to be art on just about every building. This one is named "Nectar" and was painted by artist Caitlin Moloney during the Graffiato Street Festival.

I think this is my favourite so far from Taupo, bees need all the help they can get from us people.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Up, up and away

You ever have those awesome moments when you see something out the window and you have your camera just there so you're able to get a quick shot? It's not often that happens to me but this did. We spotted this person paragliding above one of the hotels in Taupo. Being scared of heights you'd never get me up that high. How about you, would you do it?

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Views from Maungawhau

In early Autumn we visited parts of Auckland, this was one place I've been wanting to see for quite some time. I grew up in the suburbs of Auckland and when I was little my Nana and Grandad lived in Mount Eden which is very nearby. They use to take my up this mountain sometimes so it is quite special to me.  

Cars are not allowed to drive up to the top, you have to park at the bottom and walk up, this hasn't always been the case so I think it's probably because of the amount of walkers and cyclists.

Mt Eden (Maungawhau) is one of the most prominent volcanic cones remaining in the Auckland region. Erupting about 15,000 years ago from three overlapping scoria cones, it formed a huge scoria mound with a central crater from the last eruption. Lava flowed out from the base of the mound, and in some places the lava is more than 60 metres thick.

Maungawhau was a significant fortified , large enough to provide refuge for several hundred people. Extensive earthworks modified the steep upper slopes of the cone.  This particular monument at the top was erected in 1933 as a memorial to the pioneers who played a part in the transformation of the land which was once a wilderness.

From the lookout at the top there are views all over Auckland including Devonport, Parnell, Newmarket, the North Shore and Rangitoto Island. This is one of Auckland region's fourteen Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains). At 196m tall, Maungawhau or Mount Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland. 

You can see the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Auckland City and the Sky Tower in this photo - the land in the distance is the North Shore where I lived. Mount Eden got it's name from George Eden who was the first Earl of Auckland. 

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Te Wai U O Te Atakura

Te Wai U O Te Atakura aka "The milk from the breast of Te Atakura" was created by Kerikeri artist Chris Booth. A couple of  years ago we visited the Whangarei Quarry Gardens and this was one of the sculptures that stood out to us. 

It was part of worldwide series named "Vader" that began in Denmark 20 years ago. Chris Booth says 

"The main living aspect of the sculpture is fungi, the greatest recycler on the earth and a vital organism for the health of the majority of plants and animals. In these living sculptures I collaborate with fungi. The fungi consume the organic material causing the boulder to ever so slowly descend to the ground. Depending on the wood, it could take 70 years or more."

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

Monday, 14 June 2021

Numa Nature's Gentlemen

B and I spotted this mural on the side of one of the buildings in Taupo when we were there in April. As part of the Taupo Street Festival of 2017 it was painted by Pasifika artist Numangatini Mackenzie - his art centres on the exploration of urban space and the processes of building connections to his heritage. His research engages with literature on Oceanic art, museum collections as well as collaborations with living practitioners of art forms ranging from tatau, painting and spoken word to voyaging/navigation and street art.

Numa was born in Canada where his hunger to understand his culture grew, which prompted him to move the Cook Islands in 2009. His move gave Numa the opportunity to grow family ties and his understanding of cultural arts. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Gone fishing

One from our recent stay in Auckland - as I lived on the North Shore for about 25 years this was one suburb I hadn't spent much time in. The Bayswater Marina is between Takapuna and Devonport and on the opposite side is the motorway into the city - the big building in the distance is one of the main Police stations.

The guys in the top photo looked like they were on a mission with their rods and equipment. I wondered if they owned one of the many boats moored here or whether they were doing some surf-casting from the land.

One for Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 10 June 2021


On Taupo's waterfront this sculpture named "Swell" was created local artist Colleen Ryan-Priest. The glass reflects the clear blue waters of Lake Taupo below, and sits on the side of the main road through Taupo.

The Taupo Sculpture Trust who presented the sculpture to the people of Taupo, describes the art work on their website as: 
"A technical term for a type of wind wave, which is a long-wavelength surface wave that travels long distances across a body of water like the ocean. It is a stable, clean wave free of chop and doesn’t break. The long gentle curves of the proposed stainless steel and glass sculpture reflect this type of wave."
The environmental meaning of the work looks to oceanography and in particular the natural cycle of wave and wind patterns to identify any potential impact from extreme weather events precipitated through increased global warming and climatic change.

It is intended that this work be recognised at one level as a waveform but also to make people aware of the critical importance of water in our environment and the impact if we interrupt the natural patterns.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Auckland Metropolis Museum

In amongt the modern new highrise buildings in Auckland City is this smaller vintage building that is currently for sale (I'd buy it if I had the money).  

My research found that: 

"It was designed by English-born architect Charles Towle and erected in the early 1930s as the Church of Christ, Scientist, the building's Graeco-Roman facade has towering columns that frame its impressive entranceway, with three ornate timber doors decorated with leadlight inserts providing access to the expansive foyer.

Arched ceilings dominate the former congregational high stud space beyond the foyer and numerous picturesque windows provide a light, airy feel and an ambience many office buildings lack.

The building housed congregational and Sunday school services for 70 years until it was sold and converted into office space in 2003. A significant refurbishment was also carried out with care taken to ensure that the building's distinctive character remained intact.

Special architectural features that have been retained include the timber joinery and flooring, ornate windows and doors and ceiling cornices.  Lighting is a mix of contemporary and ornate fittings.

The 90sq m entrance lobby now doubles as a gallery and workroom space. The former main congregational area accommodates office space, with a meeting room and boardroom table in the centre of the polished concrete floor.

Partitioning on either side provides separate work spaces and amenity areas, while a lunchroom with modern facilities is situated at one end.

The original podium and organ room have also been glazed to form executive offices and meeting rooms.

"The pastor rooms and a 'circulation corridor', that provided access to the rear of the building for the pastors, without their having to walk through the main auditorium, also live on, providing the building with a sense of history and intrigue," says Haydock.

The property has an Auckland Council Heritage B rating and is in good condition for a building of its age having a recent seismic assessment of 80 per cent of the New Building Standard."

You can see interior photos of the building here.  Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Tuesday Travel, Through my lens, Tuesday Treasures, My corner of the world, Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Northland College Mural

 I found this mural in Kaikohe tucked down a pathway next to a shop, another one painted by Northland artist Chris Wilkie in conjunction with Northland College of which Chris is the art teacher there. It symbolises the Maori culture of the area and history as part of the beautification that the town was going through. 

This was the view of the road once I came out of the alleyway.

So now that I'm alot better and over the head cold my youngest son is now down with it. I wonder why people don't stay home when they are unwell? There is plenty of advertising online and during tv commercials about it so what is the reason it's ignored? People get 5 days sick leave here per year which is meant to be increasing to 10 days (I think), maybe they can't afford it if they have gone over their allocated days but you would think with the awareness on Covid they would be more careful right?

Over the weekend my daughter and I visited finally our local Chocolate factory/shop - link to it here. We've lived in this town for nearly 3 years so this was the first time, we ended up buying some chocolate covered Macadamia Shortbread and some espresso sticks (for my cups of coffee) - very decadent and delicious. One of my old bosses from 2 years ago when I worked in supermarket retail is now one of the managers there so it was good to catch up with her, she looked alot happier in her new role. 

And lastly now that we are going into Winter, B and I have been binge watching "The Sopranos" series. It's been pretty riveting so far but once we get to the end we will need any new suggestions any of you may have for something new.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Rawene Courthouse

 Smack bang in the Hokianga is Rawene and one of the many historic buildings there is the  Rawene Courthouse - classic bit of history, having been built here in 1876, to the plans of government architect William Clayton. It has been said that even after the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori controlled justice in Hokianga, and the building of this court may have marked a change. 

As well as criminal courts, Maori land hearings took place here, and some proceedings to do with a civil disruption called the Hokianga Dog Tax Rebellion in 1898. This building also used to double as a Police Station and there is a separate lock up out the back. The building has moved neatly into retirement service as the town library. 

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Old Kaeo shack

 Sometimes on my travels into different towns I see farm sheds that are falling apart or dilipated shacks. This one is along a dirt road full of pot holes, I wouldn't say there are alot of houses in this part, more like farms and dwellings people have put together to save money. I suspect the one on the left was a type of garage and the one on the right maybe a small house? Thoughts?

I'm sorry I haven't visited much this week, we were looking in car yards last week for a car I could upgrade mine too and the salesman had a head cold, so we have all been down with it. It was our first day of Winter on the 1st June - we tend to get alot of sunny days and cold nights so expect alot more skies like this over the next 3 months.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Napier's Kowhai Sculpture

This sculpture in Napier that we saw caught my eye. In case you didn't know the Kowhai flower is well known here for attracting Tui, Bellbirds and Wood Pigeons. Kowhai is the Maori word for yellow and in 2014 this "Gold of the Kowhai" sculpture by Paul Dibble was unveiled. The 13 foot artwork is bronze and gilded with 24 carat gold.

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

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...