A new year begins. Ngā mih o te tau hau – Happy New Year. Although strictly speaking. it isn’t the new year in the southern hemisphere, it is halfway through the seasonal year. However, we are governed by the calendar that the British and Europeans brought with them when they colonised the country. This article talks about the seven stages of summer and this one talks of how many indigenous cultures live by the maramataka – the phases of the moon.
We found this beautiful ngahere on our travels. You get to it as you climb up past Waiotemarama Waterfall. It’s the other end of the track we did earlier in the week. The kauri trees are just majestic. Plenty of. young ones growing and some giants too. This will be a splendid ngahere in the future if these trees don’t succumb to Kauri Die Back disease. It seemed an appropriate place to start the New Year off with a handstand! Some of the photos here have more detail written about them in our family blog if you want to read more.
Mangrove trees – or Manawa in te reo Māori – are incredible. They survive in salty and often dry conditions by expelling the salt from the glossy tops of their leaves and holding water using the soft hairy undersides of their leaves. You can see the salt crystals on this leaf. It is worth doing this short walk at Rawene. The mangroves are gradually recovering after the damage done to them from the timber trade in the 19th & 20th centuries.
We drove on to Wairere Boulders which is a must-do if you like geology, clambering through, on and around rocks and you want to be amazed!
More from the mangroves but this time at Waitangi on the Haruru Falls walk. Did you know that ‘haruru’ means ‘big noise’? This is a pneumatophore and it has a type of oyster growing on it. These are the ‘breathing tubes’ of the mangrove trees.
Our big adventure was a two-day walk from Rāwhiti to Cape Brett Lighthouse and back. This is Cape Brett Lighthouse bathed in a strange orange glow – skies all over NZ have been experiencing this as the smoke from the Australian Bushfires filters in front of the sun. You can read more about it here.
Day 2 of our adventure and the weather closed in a bit – mist and wind accompanied us for the first part of the day. Makes for an impressive handstand spot!
So privileged to have been in the company of these amazing creatures today. Orca.
Nigel’s Birthday today! Standing atop the famous flagstaff hill in Kororāreka (Russell) where Hone Heke repeatedly cut down the flagstaff.
Ruapekapeka – site of the last battle between the British forces and Māori in Northland – an incredible place – full of mauri but the engineering and planning that went into these defences is amazing. Apparently the trenches from WWI were based on the way that Māori defended their Pā.
Glow Worms – teara.govt.nz/en/glow-worms/page-1
They are pretty special – Māori call them Titiwae but they are also considered by some to be patupaiarehe or fairy-like creatures. Whatever, when you turn your lights off in a cave and wait for a few moments in the quiet, they just multiply until there is a starry sky above you.
The Scottish door. #eleven #roadtrip #campervanlife #summerholidays #exploringnz
Just playing with Snapseed – editing photos of flowers! I think I’d like a dress with this material design.
Off on another adventure! This was our room in Whakapapa with a floor too ceiling view of Ngauruhoe except that the clag was down and it was raining!
Fortunately, the cloud lifted by the next day and we had some stunning views from above Tama Lakes.
Oh! Another great handstand spot! This was on the Blyth Hut Track which carries on from the Waitonga Falls track. Well worth a trip.
Back home in Kirikiriroa – summer evenings at CraftHamilton.
Roadtrip continues – off to Hawkes Bay. Time for a loo stop!
Fantastic organic coffee at a wee cafe called Pikirangi Palace in Waipawa, Hawkes Bay.
On our way home. Cup of tea and a leg stretch in Taupō.
Trying to keep that holiday feeling going by having an evening walk in the sun exploring a new place in Kirikiriroa – Waiwhakareka Reserve.
So privileged to have been able to make this kete today at a Wahakura workshop which I sort of gatecrashed because I misunderstood the information on the FB page but the wāhine were so lovely and welcoming.
12 years in NZ. Still can’t get the boys to all smile at once!
Back to work but still keeping that summer feeling going – my summer office in the garden.
She always finds the comfy spots. She will miss Gus when he heads off to uni.
Off we go again! Waikaremoana – another big adventure. Te weather keeps on being kind to us. Day 1.
Day 2 Waikaremoana. The views of the lake are just incredible but the ngahere are also beautiful and the sun shines through the trees and sheds its light on the forest floor revealing its taonga.
Day 3 I just can’t get enough of these trees and this light and the beauty of it all!
So, I bought a raffle ticket ion the day that I made my wee kete and I won! I went to meet the wahine who made it and she told me it was a her ‘diaster kete’ because she had run out of blue-dyed harakeke and so the pattern has gaps in it. I reminded her of the kōrero we had had while I was weaving with her about how the ladies in Arran always used to leave a small mistake in their knitting to make every piece unique.
So this wasn’t taken today – work took over but this evening I spent some time editing photos from our trip to Waikaremoana. I love this one and Nigel and me.
Editing with Snapseed – part of a workshop with teachers.