Destined for plant life

By now you should have all googled the meaning of your name, and the names of people in your life. It’s a fun way to see just how prophetic your name is.

‘Laura’, is derived from the Bay Laurel Tree which was commonly used in making wreaths, representing victory and honor.

laurel

I love that my name’s origin is a plant, and a very aromatic one at that. The Bay tree’s  leaves are leathery and stiff with a strong midrib, a lot like me!

And with my second name being ‘Rose’ its a double whammy for a life destined for horticulture! I studied a Bachelor in Applied Animal Technology, where I was drawn to paper selections including Biodiversity Conservation, Ecosystem Management and Biota of Aotearoa. I have more recently completed a Certificate in Horticulture and will be studying Sustainable Management this year.

My favourite place to be is in the bush. My photography hobby has me wandering through the thick native bush, observing the array of fauna. My efforts can be found on my Instagram page lauraflora_nz and in earlier blog posts. We are extremely fortunate to have the Kaitoke bush track at the end of our street, where we will be starting a pest eradicating trap line.

Moving to Raglan I quickly found Karioi Maunga ki te Moana, an organisation whose focus is to restore the biodiversity from the mountain to the sea. I meet with an amazing group of volunteers to build traps and I currently monitor a trap line surrounding the Raglan Area School.

trap trapping pests eradication karioi raglan trapline

Even my art work has been inspired by nature. My beach combing behaviour has me searching for treasures to embed in resin or from textures and colours to replicate in my pieces.

Thankfully my husband is also drawn to earthy elements. ‘Timothy’ also has a meaning of ‘to honor‘. We both strongly value these natural connections which we are passing on to our children.

Muse

World famous for its surf breaks, Raglan is a key destination for New Zealand tourists. But regardless of whether its pumping or not, Ngarunui Beach offers paradise to it’s punters. There’s definitely something very special to be found here, with Facebook page’s littered with requests for accommodation and work from overseas travellers, who have fallen in love with the place and never want to leave. The endless beach opportunities offer weather dependant entertainment. The harbour, tidal changes, estuaries and cliffs beacon to be explored. And being a firm west coast location we are graced each night by the most amazing and forever changing sunsets. Just you try to catch a green flash!

Can you see an ape in the rocks?

Bridal Veil Falls

Being new Raglan residents we thought we’d better get exploring all that attracts thousands every year. I started an Instagram @exploring_raglan, a follow on from @thecoromandelguide and @exploringhamilton and look forward to adding our adventures.

Bridal Veil Falls is a NZ must do, and a short detour when en route to Raglan from Hamilton. You take a left down Te Mata Road off State Highway 23, go thru the township and follow the signs until you come across the parking at the bush walk entrance. Be weary of thieves, taking valuables with you.

An easy pram and wheelchair friendly walk leads you to the viewing platform at the top of the waterfall, 55m meters high!

Continuing downwards to the base of the falls is steep and tiresome, but definitely worth it. With viewing platforms and a bridge, you get immersed in the enormity of the Waireinga falls. The waterfall spray has enabled an interesting assortment of vegetation to grow on the sandstone walls, creating a tropical oasis.

‘Waireinga’ means leaping waters, referring to ‘wairua’  the spirits which leap the great height of this waterfall. Waireinga is also spiritually known by ‘tangata whenua’  the people of the land, to be occupied by ‘Patupaiarehe’, Maori fairies who are kaitiaki, the guardians of the area.

A photograph can be captured at the second viewing platform, where the origin of waterfalls name Bridal Veil Falls comes obvious.

 

 

 

 

Playing in Puketui Valley

One of my favourite places to play is the Puketui Valley Broken Hills walking tracks. The turn off is pretty much opposite the turnoff to Pauanui on State Highway 25. Morrison Road turns into Puketui Valley Rd, which takes you past the Te Timatanga earthship, and onto a scenic stretch of gravel road. Don’t mistake this road for Puketui Rd, which comes off the Kopu-Hikuai Rd, State Highway 25a.

Make sure you let someone know where you are going and what time you are due back, as there is no cell phone coverage once you’re in there!

Drive across an amazing bridge and you will soon see the tranquil DOC Campsite at Broken Hills (which unfortunately does not allow dogs.) The Broken Hills tracks  do tho, so I took my boy, Doug along for the day.

Further up the road you will come to two different track entry points, and roadside parking. The first offers two short walks, both easy walks and are child friendly.

At the end of  Puketui Valley Rd is the entrance to an array of tracks of varying distances.

I like to photograph the maps if I didn’t already have one, so that once in there I can look back on my phone to see which way to go, or what it is I’ve stumbled upon.

I had about 2 hours to play, so decided on the Collins Track, taking the Water Race Tracks.

As with most New Zealand bush walks, the protection of the native Kauri tree is of great importance. Kauri Dieback refers to the disease Phytophthora agathidicida. The spores from this fungus-like disease live in soil and are spread with soil movement. That is why they ask you to clean your gear after venturing into one of New Zealand’s native forests and to keep to the tracks, staying off the Kauri roots. These tracks however did not have the sanitising stations which I’ve seen at other bush walks.

In the 1900’s Broken Hills was a site for Gold Mining. This type of alluvial mining was tough. It involved digging and sifting through mud, sand and gravel using shovels sieves, or even bare hands. Batteries were built to process the quartz found. The quartz was battered into powder by massive stamper which released the gold particles so they could be chemically recovered using cyanide. This process required water and that’s what the race tracks were built for. To ensure a good supply to the plant.

Gold mining in New Zealand

The track lead through three short tunnels. If you are afraid of the dark, or not keen on weta , I advise you to clamber over the tunnels following the narrow paths!

I took the 3rd Water Race Track, and added an extra 20min to my trek, an awful lot steps but some pretty amazing views!

Then, the descent, which took me past some pretty scary looking old mines and thankfully back to the double tunnels! Oh yay, wetas again!

 

By that stage I was well ready for some open space and enjoyed the fresh scenic walk along the rivers edge….

back to the short bridge I crossed at the start.

But this time I notice a little path just to the right of the Water Race Track. I had a quick peek and saw a cute little stream, and Doug had a drink. The underside of the bridge was pretty cool too. Even if you aren’t into big bush walks, at least park at the end of the Puketui Valley Rd and walk 10min to this little bridge, check out the waterfall, and then 5 min further up are the amazing river views. You won’t be disappointed.

 

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

Find them on Facebook too!

Twin Kauri Walk

This is a great stop, enroute up the Coromandel coast. The Twin Kauris can’t be missed as you wind your way up the hill, 2km out of Tairua, heading North.

To help protect these ancient trees from Kauri Dieback , a fungus-like disease that is specific to kauri, there is a sanitising station. You are required to scrub dirt of your boots and to spray them with the solution provided before and after being in the forest.

A perfect 20 min loop track to stretch your legs. So many tourists stop and have their photo taken in front of the huge Twin Kauris, but they don’t realise what a quick little trek is just steps away. In the bush they will see more of these unique natives, a trickling stream and a stunning canopy of intertwined braches, vines and leaves. Make sure you take the time to stop and look up!

The track is thankfully marked with little orange triangles,  otherwise I think I would have gotten lost ; ) The track isn’t difficult. It’s a short fun walk that even little kids can mange. Mine love spotting the next triangle!

This time I took my 1 year old in the backpack.

luluslists.com

#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

info.tairua@xtra.co.nz

Find them on Facebook too!

Pauanui Waterfall

If you are ever in the area, you have just got to stop at the Pauanui Waterfall. Pop it on your List! The sign is definitely in need of some attention, but still not hard to miss. The track is about 2km out of Pauanui, on the left. The walk is a quick and easy 20min even the kids can do it. The stunning native bush leads you to a trickling stream, and onto the dramatic waterfall! The waterhole it creates is perfect for swimming, just make sure you check the depth first, and don’t go diving it!

Pauanui Waterfall walk nz new zealand native bush

#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

info.tairua@xtra.co.nz

Find them on Facebook too!

Pauanui Summit Hike

Well I’m glad I did it, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again. Purely because they don’t allow dogs, and I’ve gotta exercise those guys too!

I found the track really hard to follow. I came across a few forks in the path, and just keep taking the path heading up and to the left, that way I knew I would be heading in the direction of the headland point.

Thankfully it was a drizzly wet day, and not a stinking hot and humid one like we’ve been having lately. I managed to keep to the times allotted on the sign and made it to Pauanui Summit in 45min.

From there it was onto Cave Bay which was a much different terrain. The steep, muddy, well rooted, twisting track that lead up to the Trig Station gradually changed to a more moderate track, however due to the pine needle littering the pathway I did take my first wee skid.

My only companion, a little native Fantail

20160228_145757

An hour and a half later I found myself at the point of the headland. I looked around for a path to take me back to the beach, but found none, just a sign:

pauanui summit nz new zealand native bush walk

Probably should warn people of this at the start of the track?

The bouldery bays were quite a welcomed change from being in the bush for the past 2 hours. I carefully rambled my way across the rocky shoreline. The caves were pretty awesome. If I were ever homeless, that’s where you will find me! I had a lot of fun in this expedition taking photos of the moss in the damp bush and then the beautiful lichen growing on the dry salted rocks.

 

#goodforyoursoul #thecoromandel #tairuainforcentre

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions and walks

call in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

info.tairua@xtra.co.nz

Find them on Facebook too!

me and my underwater camera

If you know me, then you know I find it hard to spend money on myself. When you have four kids and a mortgage there’s always something else higher on the List.

Well I splashed out, once ; ) on an underwater camera, and I love it! I justified my purchase in that I brought it second hand off Trade Me, but its awesome! We have a lot of fun with it as our kids are often in the water, be it boggie boarding in the ocean, jumping off the bridge, or hanging at the school pool. What I love the most about it, is how it gets other kids, not only into the water, but putting their faces under the water, all for a photo! Perfect for our Primary School aged kids.

I did my research online first before purchasing, choosing a Nikon Coolpix.

Its waterproof up to 18ft, is shockproof, can take videos and has a decent zoom, and come in this awesome camo print ; )

Jan2015 012bridge jumping tairua underwater camera nikonbridge jumping tairua underwater camera nikonjan4 003

jan4 027bridge jumping tairua underwater camera nikon

 

bridge jumping tairua underwater camera nikonbridge jumping tairua underwater camera nikon

Underwater fun 1 113

Wave inspired

Well even though they were just “small little off shorers”, they gave my husband a couple of hours of fun, and me a washing machine knock about, while trying to capture their dynamics. I had a change of fins from my ‘Out the Back’ experience and into the white wash.

underwater photographs nz new zealand wavesunderwater photographs nz new zealand waves

 

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

underwater photographs nz new zealand waves

 

Hopefully next time there will be some tidy barrels ; )

I have a feeling tomorrow I’m gonna be sore, I’m not exactly swim fit!

Oh here’s a couple of the hubby

Underwater fun 1 082

underwater-fun-1-079[1]

#goodforyoursoul

#thecoromandel

#opentheworld

Water play

Today was definitely a day immersed with water.

My husband and I hardly ever go on dates. We have four kids and a mortgage, however we are fortunate enough to live in a stunning natural playground. Luckily we are both water babies, and our children are being raised to adore the ocean as much as we do. Today we had a date! But not the wine and dine, movie kinda date. A surf, snorkel and bush walk kind. Our kinda date. And we didn’t even have to fork out for a babysitter because the 3 bigger kids were at school and the wee one was at Preschool!

I have been hanging out to try some underwater photography and managed to get out the back to play while my husband surfed the waves.

underwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealandunderwater photos nz new zealand

#goodforyoursoul

#thecoromandel

#opentheworld