My Suburb ‘Beachhaven’ Waitemata Harbour Auckland

Beachhaven Waitemata Harbour AucklandBeachhaven, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland

Beachhaven situated on a peninsula at the end of the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland.  I have lived in this suburb for eleven years. Our local harbour beach has some lovely sunsets, I have spent many summer evenings here with friends for a barbeque and drinks.

Beachhaven, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland

Beachhaven Auckland

Beachhaven, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland Beachhaven is situated on a peninsula at the end of the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland. I have lived in this suburb for eleven years.

In the summer there is yacht races every Wednesday evening and Sunday mornings.

Beachhaven, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland Beachhaven is situated on a peninsula at the end of the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland. I have lived in this suburb for eleven years.

This play boat named ‘Children of Beachhaven’ was restored in 1970 by a man named Frank Larkin.  He transported metres of sand from across the harbour in his boat.  Moored with a rope and tied to a tree on the beach, children can pull on the rope to maneuver the boat.

Beachhaven Auckland

A painting I entered into an Art Competition.  ‘Beachhaven Sunrise’

In response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge  Local


White Water Rafting Kawarau River Queenstown New Zealand

White Water Rafting on the Kawarau River and one of the movie sets for ‘Lord of the Rings’

White Water Rafting Kawerau

Me sitting front right ‘Screaming’

Many years ago I worked for a tour a tourist information center, part of my job was to travel in New Zealand. I traveled by bus with a group for a week around the South Island.

One of the activities was White Water Rafting, in Queenstown. It sounded quite scary but decided to give it a go as I had already declined the bungy jumping.

There are 6 grades for white water rafting, we did grade 1, for 1 hour, a small part of the Kawerau River. I was the last person to get on the raft this was a big mistake as there was only a seat left at the front of the raft.  When the boat goes over a rapid it creates a wave, so sitting at the front you get the full impact of the water hitting you in the face.

I was terrified of falling into the river and held on tightly to the ropes.  The raft did not flip and no-one went overboard.

Although it was scary I am pleased I did it, definitely a adrenaline activity!

White Water Rafting Kawerau River Queenstown

 

Pillars of the Kings, Kawarau River, South Island

Kawarau River starred as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, so it’s like paddling through Middle Earth.

The Argonath or Pillars of the Kings scene was shot just 100 meters upstream of Kawarau bridge. The Pillars themselves were computer-generated

LORD OF THE RINGS

LORD OF THE RINGS GATE


Visiting Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

I visited Milford Sound about 25 years ago.   We were going to fly one way from Queenstown and bus back, but unfortunately we couldn’t fly because of the weather.  So it was a long day busing both ways, it took about four hours each way from Queenstown.  The scenery is amazing as you mostly drive through rain forest.

We took a boat ride for two hours. It was a misty day with light rain, but created an eerie atmosphere.

The fiord remained undiscovered by Europeans until Captain John Grono discovered it c.1812 and named it Milford Haven after his homeland in Wales. Captain John Lort Stokes later renamed Milford Haven as Milford Sound.

FAIRY FALLS MILFORD SOUND

Maori Myths

The Māori named the sound Piopiotahi after the thrush-like piopio bird, now extinct. Piopiotahi means “a single piopio”, harking back to the legend of Māui trying to win immortality for mankind – when Maui died in the attempt, a piopio was said to have flown here in mourning.

Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand MILFORD SOUND SYLVIA 3 Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand Milford Sound Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelsdumonde/


Time Stands Still in Devonport, Auckland

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport is a harbour-side suburb of Auckland, and one of the earliest settled areas in New Zealand.  Daily ferries run  to downtown, Auckland City, which takes 10 minutes.

Last week I visited a friend of mine who lives in Devonport.  We went for a short walk and both took photos of  these lovely two storey Victorian Villa’s.  Built from the 1880’s to World War I, with kauri wood and tin roofs.

Most villa’s have a balcony/verdanda and are usually decorated with intricate lace work and finials.

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Time


Visiting Hobbiton in the Spring, New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Hobbiton New Zealand

Visiting Hobbiton in the Spring is one of the best time to visit.  Spring flowers are in bloom, which will die off in summertime with the higher temperatures.  Flowers and vegetables plants are based on a traditional cottage garden. The grass is cut in a certain way so it looks natural.  There are about seven gardeners working full-time to upkeep the grounds.

After the two-hour tour of the  Hobbit holes the last stop is the Green Dragon Inn, which is a pub, serving complimentary beer or cider which is brewed only for the Green Dragon Inn.

Don’t forget spare storage/batteries for your photos as you will be taking a lot of pictures

You get to visit Sam’s home, Bag End – Bilbo and Frodo’s house

The Hobbit homes are just facades – there is nothing inside them

Take plenty of water and sunscreen if visiting in summer

Tours are available from Rotorua and Matamata.  For more information on tours visit: http://www.hobbitontours.com/

Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

Surrounding the 44 Hobbit holes, there are a variety of props such as clothes drying on clothes lines, smoke coming out of chimneys, mail boxes and outdoor furniture.

HOB 5

Hob 1

hob 2

Hobbiton New Zealand

9

8

hob 6

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Travel Monkey

Mt Cook, Aoraki, South Island, New Zealand

Mt Cook Aoraki New Zealand

Mt Cook Aoraki New Zealand

Mt Cook known to Māori as Aoraki or Cloud Piercer Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region, Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is part of UNESCO’s Te Wāhipounamu (The Place of Greenstone) World Heritage. Australasia’s highest mountain Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m) nestled in the splendid Southern Alps.

Several years ago I did a seven-day bus tour around the South Island. One of the stops on this tour was Mt Cook driving from Christchurch to Queenstown.  It was a long day as its 4 hours to Mt Cook and 3 hours to Queenstown. It is advisable to stay over night to break the journey.

There is a variety of accommodation – hostels, holiday parks, lodges and motels.

Activities

  • Tasman Glacier, take a tour on a Argo 8 wheel all terrain vehicle or cruise on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake
  • Visit Sir Edmond Hillary Alpine Centre, he was the first climber to reach the summit of Mt Everest
  • Take a break/photo stop at Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki
  • Scenic Flights – By helicopter or fixed wing plane
  • Stargazing – You can explore the southern sky every clear evening from the Hillary Deck with expert astronomy guides. with Big Sky Stargazing
  • Walking & Hiking – Long or short walks from Aoraki / Mount Cook Village

Mt Cook Aoraki New Zealand

Mt Cook (Aoraki) New Zealand

Mt Cook (Aoraki) New Zealand

Mt Cook (Aoraki) New Zealand

Māori Myth

The Ngāi Tahu (local Māori people) legend of Aoraki / Mount Cook is the story of Aoraki and his 3 brothers. They were the sons of Rakinui (the Sky Father) and they were on a voyage around Papa-tū-ā-nuku (the Earth Mother) when disaster struck and they became stranded upon a reef.

The voyagers climbed on to the top side of the canoe and after a time the south wind froze them and turned them into stone. Their canoe became the South Island (Te Waka o Aoraki is the oldest name for the South Isand) and Aoraki who stood tallest of the brothers is now seen as the majestic Aoraki / Mount Cook with the Southern Alps as his brothers and other members of his crew.

 


Hiking a Volcano, Rangitoto, Auckland

Hiking a Volcano Rangitoto Auckland

Hiking a Volcano Rangitoto Auckland

Rangitoto is the youngest volcano of the 50 volcano’s in Auckland, It last erupted 600 years ago.  Situated in the Hauraki Gulf it is one of the most photographed icons in Auckland.

How to Get There – There are regular ferries from Downtown Auckland with Fullers Cruises.

What to Take It’s advisable to take a packed lunch and plenty of water. The heat radiates from the volcanic rock. Wear sturdy walking shoes or boots.

The walk takes about three hours,  hike in the morning, have lunch at the summit and walk back down in the afternoon to catch the ferry back to Auckland.

Hiking a Volcano Rangitoto Auckland

The Crator – Rangitoto Island Auckland

Hiking a Volcano – I did this hike a few year’s ago, although it’s not a very scenic walk the views from the top looking over the Hauraki Gulf are amazing.  I couldn’t believe how big the crater was and I was expecting a big gaping hole it is covered in dense bush.  There is also a track that circles the rim.

Hiking a Volcano Rangitoto Auckland

Original NZ Iconic Bach (Beach House)

The bach (bach is the name for New Zealand holiday homes) communities on Rangitoto Island built in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and consist of private holiday homes and boatsheds.

Māori myths

There are several Māori myths associated with Rangitoto. One tells of the children of the fire deities, who lived in the Auckland area.

One night a husband and wife argued and cursed the fire deity Mahuika. She complained to Mataoho, the deity of earthquakes and eruptions, who sent an eruption to destroy the couple’s mountain home. It was swallowed up by the earth and became Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore, and Rangitoto rose out of the sea. When mist surrounds Rangitoto, it is the tears of the couple as they weep over their lost home.

 

 

 


Things To Do In Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland New Zealand

My Picks on ‘Things to do in Auckland’

For culture and history you may wish to visit the Auckland Museum where there is an excellent Maori concert/cultural performance.

Visit the New Zealand Maritime Museum my favourite part of this museum is the 1950’s vintage NZ beach house (Bach).  There is also activities for children and daily sailings on a historic vessel ‘Breeze’.

Climb Auckland Harbour Bridge or Jump off the world’s first harbour bridge bungy with Auckland Bridge Bungy

Hike Rangitoto Volcano in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, a regular ferry service with Fuller’s.

Rangitoto Volcano, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

Rangitoto Volcano, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

Explore Auckland’s West Coast Beaches, Lush Rain Forest or join a Vineyard Tour with Bush and Beach

Piha West Coast Black Sand Beach

Piha West Coast Black Sand Beach. Source www.flickr/chrisgin/

Auckland Hop on, Hop Off Explorer – There are two different bus routes where you can combine them in one day. The bus stops at fourteen attractions with full commentary and departs every 30 minutes.

Spend a day on Waiheke Island, only 35mins by ferry from downtown Auckland.  Waiheke is popular for its stunning beach’s, vineyards & wineries, art scene and watersports.

Mudbrick Restaurant & Vineyard Waiheke Island

Mudbrick Restaurant & Vineyard, Waiheke Island

Background
Auckland City the largest city in New Zealand with a population of 1.4 million people.  Auckland’s nickname ‘City of Sails’ as one in three Auckland households own a boat.  Much of Auckland is built on the Auckland Volcanic Field and has 50 volcanoes. The last volcano to erupt was Rangitoto Island 600 years ago.

 

Travel Notes & Beyond


Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

 

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Admiring the ancient buildings from a traditional boat

Huangyao Ancient Town, Guangxi, China

With a history of a thousand years, built-in 927 B.C, reaching its prime during the reign of Emperor Qianlang of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).  The name Huangyao came from the family names of the townspeople mainly Huang and Yao ethnic groups.

Some scenes from the movie ‘The Painted Veil’ was filmed here.  This movie inspired me to visit China as I thought the scenery was so beautiful.

I hired a driver and English-speaking guide, from Yangshuo which took about two hours.  Drivers in China usually don’t speak English so you need hire an English speaking guide as well, this was the most expensive part of my trip.

Huangyao was the most authentic town I visited in China, the narrow cobbled lanes lined with tiny coffee shops, bars and restaurants.  It wasn’t crowded with tourists and only had a few souvenir shops.

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Stone Arch Bridge

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Banyan Tree

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Quirky Cafe with hundreds of post-it's

Quirky Cafe with hundreds of post-it’s

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

This little lady is 96 years old, we lit incense before praying to a buddha in a small shrine

At the end of the day as were walking back to the car there were a group of school children on a trip.  They immediately surrounded me and they started practicing their English.  The main thing they said was ‘Pleased to Meet You’ and one girl asked me where was I from – my guide translated ‘New Zealand’.  I didn’t see any foreign people in this town so maybe they don’t often get the chance to talk to tourists.  As we drove away they were waving goodbye to me ‘They Were so Sweet’.

 

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