I visited my sister in Papamoa. She suggested a walk around Mauao. This is more often called "Mount Maunganui". It has a track around it which takes an hour or so.
Mauao stands next to Tauranga Harbor.
It also stands next to a busy housing area.
Many of the houses are more than just seaside cottages.
It was very busy. School Holidays!
The harbor that the town overlooks is crowded with little boats........ and big ones.
In the distance you can see hills. That is typical of New Zealand.
Near Papamoa, My sister Diana and brother in law Mike have a property. When I visited, I took a present. A plant.
They love trees and have enough land to have a few. Here are a couple of Kauris.
Here are a couple of young Rimu.
This foto of their young dog shows the part of the property that looks towed the east. There are poplars on the boundary.
The plant I brought was a bamboo, "Dendrocalamus Latiflora". It is one of the largest bamboos to be found in New Zealand.
Only twenty minutes away is a small peak. At the top is a reserve with many walking and biking trails. Last Sunday I walked my favourite walk. Here are some fotos.
Here is the view from the carpark. The hill that is covered in pine tress stands out from the grazing pasture of the rest of the hills.
Tee mata peak is built on limestone rock as shown in the picture.
From the walkway you can see the hills below. The parkland is covered in vegetation as shown here.
Looking back along the track you can see the uneven surface of the walkway.
Ginger is the last of the kittens. She is likely to stay with me. Even her mother Woody may go. He is a very lively kitten, but has almost reached the size of a full grown cat. He has had his appointment with the vet and survived that OK.
As a little kitten he was always busy.
Here he is looking for something to play with.
He gets a cuddle from an admirer.
"Who me!. No! I was somewhere else."
"Look, I am just like my mother, only not so fat!"
Treading the [floor] boards.
On this last weekend of February, the NZ Bamboo Society had its AGM. That takes one hour so we did other things for the rest of the time. Our hosts Jill and Jack lived near a wind farm near Makara. We visited, followed by a walk down the track to Makara Beach.
Two members look at the descriptions of the wind generators.
Part off the wind farm is visible in the distance.
The information tells us where they towers are sited and why they are spaced as they are.
The information panel also tells us something of the massive amount of work it takes to install the towers.
I arrived at Castlepoint to spend the night with my sister Diana and her husband Mike.
They had rented nice waterfront bach near the "harbor".
It had a great view of the water and Castlepoint Lighthouse.
After a cup of tea we set off in strong winds, to climb to the lighthouse.
To get to the lighthouse we had to cross the "harbor", which consisted of a flat sandy area which was regularly overrun by the tide.
This flat area was home to fishing boats. The sand was hardpacked so vehicles could easily drive over it.
I visited my sister and brother in law at Castlepoint where they had rented a bach or holiday home. I took fotos of the sunset, and in the morning of the sunrise.
Castlepoint is on the east coast of the North Island, in the Wairarapa. The nearest town is Masterton. Castlepoint has a beautiful beach.
At the end of the beach is a lighthouse on the point of land that projects out into the sea.
The day was very windy but clear. The wind blew out to sea, so there were not any big waves coming in.
On the way to Taupo there is a side-road advertising the directions to Treelinoe Gardens. These gardens have going for perhaps fifty years. I visited them once nearly forty years ago. They were beautifully set out. My return found them much changed. All the trees were fully grown. That meant they were so high the view was quite obscured. The previous owner, who had dedicated himself to the creation and extension of the gardens, had died. The new owner had some idea of the value of the gardens, but something was missing.
My next stop after Elsthorpe Reserve was Blackhead Beach.
This beach has a nice fine light brown sand. It is not very shelly nor much in the way of crystals like Coromandel sand [on the Whitianga side]
The tide is out so the groundwater seeps out of the sand to get to the sea leaving the sand moist and reflective like a mirror. Past the sand is an area of flat rock. It is easy to walk on as it is quite flat and even.
I couldn't resist a foto of the clouds reflected in the sand.
Today, [Monday 29th Jan, 2018] I travelled down country, to the coastal settlement of Porangahau. It has one of the nicest beaches on the East Coast [of the North Island]
On the way I decided to be economical with fotos. Even so I found many things I just had to fotograf.
I have lived in Hawkes Bay forty years but I have never been in this bush.
Just outside the entrance I found a small but well formed Tawa tree. [See the Mohi Bush Blog]
It did get me the opportunity I didn't get in the Mohi Bush journey to fotograf the leaves of the Tawa.