Monday, March 28, 2016


We have had wonderful weather over the Easter period but last week there was a storm which lashed the area. It was worse on Wednesday and Wednesday night.  On Thursday morning after walking Sophie in the park we called in to the Whangarei Falls which are just below the park.

These are photos I took of the same falls in July 2012.

This is a view of the river after the falls

The following day we did our weekly walk up Parihaka.  This is a small waterfall that is usually barely visible.

and the falls alongside the staircase.

This is the falls in April last year.

It is a lovely walk alongside the stream 

Friday, March 25, 2016


I found a nice long piece of kelp

                      Horses with cattle in the background taken from the deck of the cottage.


                                     On the final evening we walked north along the beach

We must have walked  a couple of miles up the beach to where this horse was and it  followed us back down the beach to join the others by our cottage.

                                         and ignored us and calmly wandered on past

It is now back to the reality of general life and Rest Home visiting.  When I visited today they were weighing Max prior to putting him to bed for a siesta.  He is down to just under 51 kg. He was about 70 kg when he went into care 4 years ago next week.  He has been on mouli food due to trouble swallowing for over a year and has protein "jellies" for morning and afternoon tea.

He is usually asleep when I visit (whatever the time of day) and the doctor has just had various tests done to make sure this is not something more than general deterioration. It is all so cruel and undignified.

Monday, March 21, 2016


 On our first walk south along the beach we noticed the Chinese Arch and what appeared to be a cemetery and later realised it must be a memorial to the ss. Ventnor.

History  see here

In 1902 the ship Ventnor set out for China with the bones of 499 Chinese men who had died in New Zealand. The men were being returned home to the care of their families and ancestral villages. Most were old goldminers from the Otago / Greymouth area who had not been able to make enough money for their return passage home.
Under the auspices of a charitable association, the Cheong Sing Tong, community members pooled their money so that the remains of their countrymen could be returned home.
Tragically the men never made it.  The Ventnor hit a rock off the Taranaki coast and eventually sank off the Hokianga Heads. This was a great catastrophe for the community, as it was believed the men’s spirits would not be at ease. Far from family and in a watery grave, there would be no-one to tend to their needs in the afterlife.
As soon as it got news of the sinking, the Cheong Sing Tong hired the steamer ‘Energy’ from Auckland to try and locate the wreck and possibly recover as many of the coffins as possible.  This was not successful.  Later it was rumoured that some of the bones had washed up and were buried by local iwi who lived along the coastline.

Friday, March 18, 2016

MITIMITI - First Evening

After I took the photo of the sunset on the first evening we went for another walk along the beach to the north.  We were surprised to come across this little fellow - when I first saw him he was in the hoofprint that he has just come out of.   I looked him up the other day and think he is an ornate skink which it says is in the decline.  He seemed out of place on the beach.

Although there are tyre marks on the beach we only saw one other person until the final day when there were several gathering shellfish (even though there was a warning about eating shellfish in that area due to a toxin).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MITIMITI - Day one - Far from the Madding Crowd

No need for words.

Looking back to the beach house (the house on the right)  I have made the rest blurred if you enlarge the photo.  The owners live in the house behind.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


We decided to take a four day break.  The daughter of one of Doug's neighbours and her husband own the Mitimiti Beach House (the only accommodation I could see available in Mitimiti).  The good thing was that Sophie (Doug's labrador) could come as well.

I have wanted to go to Mitimiti for a long time - it is remote the nearest shop is about an hour away so one must take all ones food (and that for the dog). 

We set off on Tuesday morning and stopped at Kawakawa, which I have posted about before, where we had a coffee and an apple and berry slice for Doug and absolutely delicious gluten free chocolate brownie for me.  Next stop was Kohukohu on the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour.  I had been there many times but it was Doug's first visit.  

The church isn't on an angle - just the photographer!!

From there we continued on towards Mitimiti and took a detour to St Mary's Church.  Bishop Pompallier's remains were returned there in 2002.  It was a delightful church although not the one on the Harbour that we had been expecting.