Saturday, 31 July 2021

Ferment coffee

Over lockdown last year we were allowed to go out for walks around our local neighbourhoods. Some businesses were able to operate using click and collect (order online or phone then pick up). This one caught my eye selling coffee, I thought it was unusual but clever as they are a wine and beer shop but at least they thought of a way through the tough time.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

The Taipa Bridge

 In 2019 a new modern updated bridge opened in Taipa. It is 107 metres long with 2 lanes for traffic and a 2.5 metre walking and cycle track. The new bridge’s most striking features are the waka tauihu (prow) and taurapa (stern) panels of a seafaring waka adorning each end. These acknowledge Taipā as one of the first landing places in New Zealand of the Polynesian explorer Kupe.

The waka hourua (a traditional double hulled sailing canoe) design and the pou whenua were the result of extensive collaboration between Waka Kotahi and the local hapū representatives of Ngāti Kahu. 

The close relationship with Ngāti Kahu also saw the relocation of a monument commemorating local fallen soldiers from the shop carpark to a more prominent location near the bridge.

This is the old Taipa bridge built in 1899. As the years have gone by this bridge was eventually unable to cope with the growing traffic volumes and and safety requirements of locals and tourists as they visit the local popular fishing spots. 

I actually found this video on youtube of the progress of the new bridge so it'll show you the Taipa area.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Waimangu Volcanic Valley - Part 2


Following on from last week's post - part 1 - the following photos were taken about halfway down the track. This one above, is where we could see the dried sulphur on and around the rocks above the steaming water.

This one is named the "Inferno Crater". It is a large hot spring with a geyser located at the bottom of the lake. The water temperature can reach up to 80 degrees celsius with an acidity up to ph 2.2 with a lake level of up to 12 metres.

We stood on the bridge below to see into this boiling hot fast moving stream. "Waimangu" means "black water" and comes from the water that was thrown up from the original geyser.

We stood over this bridge to look at the bubbling water below. You wouldn't want to fall in would you?

The next 3 photos are part of the silica pink and white terraces at Waimangu originally created by thermal waters flowing from inside the earth.

Known by Maori as "Tarata" meaning "Tattooed rocks" these at one time covered 3 hectares and descending 30m.

The terraces apparently used to leave peoples skin feeling soft and refreshed from the clear silky water. 

The little geyser above is one of many that can be seen. Apparently this is part of where steam comes out from the cliffs and bush near "Rift Valley".  Since the eruption this area has been naturally populated by algae, bacteria, mosses and many species of native ferns, shrubs and trees.

The original terraces and pools would've looked something like this before the Tarawera Eruption now most of it has been covered up.

Part 3 coming up next week. Linking up with Our World TuesdayTravel TuesdayTuesday TreasuresThrough my lensMy corner of the world and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Kawakawa vet mural

I spotted this mural on the side of the veterinary clinic in Kawakawa which was painted by kiwi artist Angela Newport who is originally from the Hokianga area but now lives in Canterbury. 

You can see more of her work on her website. Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

See what matters

Over Summer it was easy to take so many reflection photos - my town has I think 2 local optometrists, this one nearest us had this display in their shop window. A good way to show glasses.

So this week has been actually pretty mind blowing. I had a client make up a few stories about me that I was able to prove to be untrue, B has been getting less and less work and my car was stolen in the early hours of Tuesday morning - I didn't even realize it was missing because it was my day off until I got a call from the police in Auckland saying a young person had dumped it on the side of the road. Not only that but my camera was in the car.  Thankfully we have full insurance and the company we are insured with are arranging to have it towed back up here to the mechanics to get the door handle and ignition replaced. I'm hoping next week is better.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup. 

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Pop up coffee

 Throughout New Zealand you might see these little buildings devoted to really good coffee. This one in Taupo is very aptly named "Stir" and is made from a converted caravan with a covered balcony, we were going to buy some coffees for us while we were there but there was quite a line of customers to the doorway.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Waimangu Volcanic Valley - Part 1

During our holiday earlier this year in April we visited Waimangu Volcanic Valley near Rotorua. Because I took so many photos and there is so much information about this spot I'll be putting up posts in probably 3 parts. 

So basically we started at the top of the mountain, the whole walk is about 5kms all up to get to the bottom. This is the home of the pink and white terraces which were covered by Tarawera Eruption in 1886. From here we could see a rough overview of the valley, you can see steam and smoke rising from below.

This lake is known as the "emerald pool" in the southern crater - this whole area is all hydrothermal. At the time of the original eruption craters burst on the volcano, a 16 km long rift running southwest from the mountain opened up with 22 craters exploding from the land. 15 of the craters are now underwater Lake Rotomahana, the 7 remaining ones are in this valley. 

This is a painting of the Tarawera Eruption - from 1886 by Charles Blomfield so you can see how massive it would've been back then.

A long trail from start to finish wound down through the valley, this is part of the nature walk we ambled down. Because our borders are still closed to overseas tourism there weren't many people, we were the only ones here at this time.

We did pick up a map explaining who painted the various artworks throughout the trail but once we got home there was no trace of it.

This one is of Echo Crater and Frying Pan Lake - the latter is the largest hotspring in the world. An accommodations house which use to exist near this spot fell victim to the valley's largest hydrothermal eruption. In 1917 it erupted bursting through the roof of the house and burns from the steam killed the wife and her child of the guide who lived there. 


This one is Cathedral Rocks - the heat of this lake area is around 55 degrees celsius and climb to around 67 degrees celsius when the heat is really bubbling below. The rocks are made of rhyolite lava estimated at around 60,000 years old. 

There were signs up everywhere warning parents to supervise their children, for obvious reasons so I took this fun photo of B pretending to look displeased next to it 😂

Part 2 coming up next week. Linking up with Our World TuesdayTravel TuesdayTuesday TreasuresThrough my lensMy corner of the world and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Waving along

I've spotted another mural in Kaeo, this one on the front of a closed building that looks like it's being used for the local Youth Group. I think the colours and work are probably representing the nearby Whangaroa Harbour. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Thursday, 15 July 2021

The Lantern


I spent a few rainy hours in Kawakawa last week, not alot to do except browse through some of the shops. This bronze and glass sculpture on the main road caught my eye. It is the work of local artist and designer Richard Smart and its creation has involved more than 1500 hours of voluntary labour and commitment, it was designed to serve a functional purpose as a street light. The work was conceived in 2002 and has been driven behind the scenes jointly by the Kawakawa Community Trust and the Eastern Community Board.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021


One from Rotorua this week. This bronze sculpture was unveiled in 2001 to mark the new millenium. Supported by both the Millenium Trust and the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, Waitukei was made by Rotorua artist Lyonel Grant. His inspiration for the sculpture was the people of the area and the rich melding of Maori and European cultures. It was crafted from bronze over a 2 year period and depicts 2 symbolic figures, one male and one female.

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

Monday, 12 July 2021

Waimangu Valley Mural

 If you're ever in Rotorua this is one place to put on your bucket list. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is home to the Pink and White Terraces which now lie underwater after the famous eruption in 1886 of Mount Tarawera. I did take a load of photos while we were there but I will save those for another post. This mural is at the top of the mountain when we first started our walk through the valley - it shows the view from the old guest house looking towards the Waimangu Geyser in 1903.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Resting in Kawakawa

Photo taken of a lady having a rest on one of the mosaic brick seats along the main street with the Star Hotel and the old picture theatre in the background.

We have had a vet's visit this week with our manx "Bunny". Manx Cats don't have tails so their pelvic areas are usually deformed, 2nd time she's been blocked up but this time was also an abscess. With a small operation, anti-biotics and painkillers she's on the mend again...

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 8 July 2021


Occasionally when I venture out with B for his work, he'll stop somewhere and I'll use the moment to take photos of the surrounding scenery. More often than not it's farms we can see - this one is in Kaikohe on the outskirts of town. A handful of old shacks, bare trees, a damp feeling in the air, some disused buildings and a marae is what we normally see.

Most of our days here begin with temperatures of around 4-6 degrees celsius, the winter pyjamas and clothing has come out of hiding and we are finding little cupboard clearing out things to do on our days off. In the search for more dinner plates we discovered that we don't have enough and we will have to buy some more.

We have been invited to B's best friend's wedding next year in Melbourne, that in itself is going to require some we still have to quarantine if we've been vaccinated, how long do we go for in case the travel bubble closes and we get stuck. Lots to think about...

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Paihia Bollards

These cuties and others sit along the Paihia waterfront. Part of the Pahia Focus Group the idea came from Katja Caulton and was discussed with members of the community who decided on finding 5 characters that represented the town. They ended up setting on a fish, fisherman, wahine (Maori woman), sailor and a diver - only 3 are shown here.

It took Russell artist Noel Wynyard 8 months to carve the bollards and Darina Denali painted them with local Grant Harnish installing them in 2017. I think they are a quirky addition to Paihia.

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

Monday, 5 July 2021

Eat fresh

 Another mural by Rodrigo Rozas - this one is on the side of a Japanese Sushi Shop in Kawakawa and was painted in February 2017. I don't know about you but I love sushi.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

The new boat ramp

Normally when we go fishing we use a boat ramp not far out of town. Recently a new boat ramp was built in the opposite direction also not far out of town. The land was acquired by the local council in in 2019 and work was done before and after lockdown to the point where it was finished a few weeks ago.

These 2 Maori sculptures were created by local artist Ricky Ashby representing his Te Uri Taniwha ancestor Kopiri and his wife Whakapu. 

 On the opening day just before dawn a local Maori elder Hone Mihaka recited a whakapapa (genealogy) linking those who were present with the ancestors represented in the carvings and spoke of the ancient bones that still lie in the area's caves which are sacred. He was joined in a prayer by Bernard Makaore and Kipa Munro.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Foggy crisp mornings

Winter has kicked in here and most mornings when I'm sitting in bed with my coffee and laptop it's about 4 degrees celsius, very crisp if it's sunny outside. Basically the colder it is at night the more likely it is that you'll get a fine day. When I was driving back from Kaeo last week I could see the fog hanging over Totara North near the Whangaroa Harbour. The country has been going through a polar blast the last few days, poor Wellington was put into a state of emergency due to their high waves crashing over the main highway and most of Otago and Ruapehu has had major snowdumps. Because we are in the warmer part of New Zealand the lowest we get to at night is about 2-3 degrees celsius, we just put the electric blanket on the bed last night and that will come off in Spring.

I've had some comments left on my other history blog about people having trouble commenting here so I have changed the settings, hope it works, fingers crossed.

I got talking to one of my many cousins about side effects from the Covid vaccine, apparently the Ministry of Health wants to know what people have after getting it. All I had was a sore arm and a slightly metallic taste in my mouth for 48 hours but do you think I could get through the survey on the website? Nope, every time I re-entered my information and got the last page it kept crashing so think I will try another day - frustrating though. 

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

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...