Maunga not mountain

Living in the Coromandel Coast town of Tairua we had an amazing view of the harbour and on to Mount Paaku. Having jumped across New Zealand to the west coast our view is so very similar, but now we get to admire the sunset surrounding Mount Karioi every night.

 

When we found our slice of paradise in Tairua we really thought that we would be in that house forever, but as it turned out we were nearly there. We were just on the wrong coast. Blessed with a husband who is a keen surfer, our place of residence was always influenced by the call of the sea. We have spent years calling Muriwai Beach and Gisborne home, but now we feel that Raglan is our final destination (maybe). And as it turns out many others end their journey, searching for the perfect place, here in Raglan. After all the Maori name Whāingaroa means ‘the long pursuit’, which refers to the lengthy search of the Tainui waka ‘canoe’ for a final destination.

Most commonly known as a thoroughfare to the rest of the Coromandel, Tairua which means ‘two tides’ also hosts an awesome surf break when the swells right. Tairua should be known more for its Polynesian fishing lure, which was found during an  archaeological excavation in 1964. The lure is made from a black lipped pearl shell Pinctada margaritifera which is not native to New Zealand. The lure is highly significant because it was made in East Polynesia and brought here, on a waka, with the Polynesian settlers of Aotearoa. It now lives at the Auckland Museum.

 

I always find it interesting that many people call themselves locals of a particular place and yet they know nothing of its history. The double cone volcanic peak that dominates the landscape of Tairua and neighbouring Pauanui ‘large abalone’ is known as Mt Paku, when we should actually be referring to it as Maunga Paku. And paku, which means ‘particle, dried, little and small’ should be pronounced Pakū indicating a long vowel, giving a more fitting meaning for a volcano, of ‘ to make a sudden sound’. Pāku as it’s commonly referred to isn’t even in Maori dictionaries. I was told that it was originally named Paaku which is the Maori name of the fairy’s that lived on the mountain.

In the glorious town of Raglan Whāingaroa Maunga Karioi is a 2.4 million year old extinct volcano, the earliest of a line of 6 calcalkalic volcanoes. The profile of Karioi from Raglan is likened to a ‘Sleeping Lady’ Wahine Moe. Karioi which means ‘to loiter or idle’ could humourously depict the laid back nature of the surfing culture which is evident.

The nearby township of Te Uku is where our children attend school. As if preparing you for your entry into Whāingaroa, Te Uku Roast Office is located beside the school, offering Raglan Roast daily ground coffee! I’d love to learn more about Te Uku and the white clay that it is named after. It would be amazing to use a locally source material in my sculptural work.

Living in Raglan we are surrounded by like-minded people, valuing a laid back lifestyle and appreciating nature. There is a strong awareness and appreciation of the environment and many inhabitants are willing to make a difference.

hari ahau i

 

 

A lot of wall paper stripping later…

It was a fun couple of years in our 70’s house on the hill. And now it’s time for it to have many more years with another fortunate family.

Our move to Hamilton was such a mess. I thought I had it all worked out. I had packed snacks and filled the tank. Mum had already been and packed a trailer with ‘specials’.

My husband had already moved and had started the new job. He had been staying at a camping ground for the past 2 weeks until we took possession of our new project. The kids all went off the school and kindy while I waited for the truck to arrive. I started to move furniture outside in anticipation of the trucks arrival, but it never turned up! With the threat of an impending rain cloud, I called the delivery service, who informed me of a mix up. The truck had only just left Hamilton, after being delayed at an earlier job!

The car was chocker with fragiles, the cats, the dog and the fish, and I was yet to pick up the kids! I left instructions for the truck, picked up the kids and left lil ol Tairua.

I thought it would all be smooth sailing from here, but alas, it wasn’t. The truck finally arrived in Hamilton, but as the guys had gone over their ‘drive time’ they weren’t able to deliver our belongings until the next day! And for some bad luck, all the motels in Hamilton were booked out, due to shows that weekend. In the trailer my mother had delivered were our sleeping bags, but nothing else we could utilise. We packed the kids into the car and headed to The Warehouse for some pillows and picked up pizza.

Not only was our new home the worst house in a nice street, but we had no choice but to sleep our first night on inflatable mattresses and towels!

And so our new journey begun……

 

 

Tairua Pipemasters -Brad Smeele Fundraiser

All About the Event

The Tairua Pipemasters was an awesome event, that returned in 2015, to raise funds for Brad Smeele’s recovery. Brad Smeele is an internationally recognised professional wakeboarder, who at 27, unfortunately had a very serious accident, while attempting a trick, in Florida. The accident resulted in Brad shattering his C4 vertebrae,  becoming a quadriplegic.

Brad’s Accident

He is am amazing guy, and the support of his fans, friends and family and his determination has seen him progress. He is truly inspirational and his progress is worth following. He decided he is not going to cut his hair until he walks again! Go Brad!

Brad Smeeles Recovery Facebook Page

The children at Tairua School were fortunate enough to have Brad guest speak at their assembly.

The Brad Smeele Foundation raises funds for his recovery. There are some pretty cool tee shirts and singlets available. 100% of the proceeds from your purchase go directly to the Brad Smeele Foundation to ensure he receives the best possible treatment and care.

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions pop in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

Find them on Facebook too!

https://www.facebook.com/tairuainfocentre

tairua piemasters brad smeeletairua piemasters brad smeeletairua pipe masters brad smeele

Mill Creek Bird and Animal Encounters

Mill Creek Bird and Animal Encounters, also known as Mill Creek Bird Park, is located 10min South of Whitianga, towards Tairua. There is signage on State Highway 25,  leading you to a dirt road and onto their driveway, lined with mini train tracks ; )

Mill creek bird and animal garden

As you wander the grounds you will find a range of animals for the kids to feed, from donkeys to eels, from to turtles to geese. There is over 400 birds housed in 45 aviaries ranging from tiny finches to huge Macaws.

They have been operating a  Bird & Animal Rescue Centre for the past 3 years, and have DOC authority to hold injured protected wildlife in captivity, so you may get the to opportunity to see New Zealand native birds such as the Ruru (Morepork) or the Kereru (Wood pigeon) up close!

There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied, with mini train rides, a playground and a mini putt. Mum and Dad can relax at the Station Café.

There is even accommodation to suit, whether it’s a campervan park, a self contained unit or B’n’B you need, they can provide it. They will even allow your dog or bird to stay with you at the campground! (prior arrangement)

 

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions pop in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

Find them on Facebook too!

https://www.facebook.com/tairuainfocentre

Whiti Farm Park Fun!

Whiti Farm Park is located along State Highway 25, between Tairua and Whitianga.

You can’t miss it! Its so decorative and creative, capturing the imagination and excitement all of children and adults that venture through the gates! Many of the structures have been created using recycled pieces and have been built by hand with a lot of love and passion. It is definitely worth a look! Bring a picnic and stay for the day.

Whiti Farm Park is magical playground, with a ship to explore, toadstool tables and a giant trampoline! There so much to keep children of all ages entertained….

….and then there’s the animals!

Buy your kids a bag of animal feed at the office and away they go! It’s obvious how much these animals are loved. Their enclosures are clean and well kept, and the animals all looked very healthy and happy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!

whiti farm park finger bitten emu

For more information on New Zealand tourist attractions pop in and see the volunteers at

Tairua Information Centre

 223 Main Rd Tairua, (07) 864 7580

Find them on Facebook too!

https://www.facebook.com/tairuainfocentre

Paku Summit

paku tairua nz new zealand bush walks #goodforyoursoul

If you are passing through Tairua, as must tourists do, on their journey while circumnavigating the Coromandel, you must stop and take the short hike to the Paku summit. You can pretty much drive to the top of the mountain, that was once a volcanic island. There is plenty of parking and the track is easy to spot. The track is fun, and winding, with informative plaques posted along the way. There is a bit of a dodgy bit near the top, where you are required to clamber up over some rocks, but other that, it’s a true New Zealand native bush walk with the most amazing views!

NZ Must Do paku tairua nz new zealand bush walks #goodforyoursoul

#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 to Tairua Trail

Had a great run/walk today, checking out the newly completed 4.2km stretch of the Pauanui to Tairua Trail. It was awesome! What a great feature to offer locals and visitors to the area. This part of the track can be entered from Waterways Parade, or from Tangitarori Lane, on the right as you head out of Pauanui.

I had previously walked it with the family a few months ago. Back then it was just a narrow dirt track edged with newly felled trees. Today it is beautiful! A real treat. Not just for the keen cyclists, but for runners, walkers and pram pushers. You are welcome to take your dog too, as long as its on a lead at all times. Young children could even manage a dawdle along the harbours edge.

There is pest control in full force so pets and children must be supervised. The location of bait stations and stoat traps are easily identified by colour coded triangles.

It took me 30mins to walk to the end, where if you brought your wallet, you could carefully cross the road a have a look around the Pauanui Art Gallery!

What’s really special about this walk is that its surrounded by trees which have been dedicated to soliders who fell in the Great War. There are seven World War 1 Memorial Forest sites across the Coromandel. This particular site represents the 640 killed in the Sinai-Palestine Campaign. If you are interested in giving a donation or gifting a tree contact the Thames-Coromandel District Council Customer Services on 07 868 0200

WW1 Memorial Forest

WW1 memorial forest pauanui tairua cycle trail

You can help support this project by making a donation to:

The Hikuai District Trust

03 0458 0277108 00

www.pauanuitairuatrail.org.nz

pauanui tairua cycle trail

#goodforyoursoul

#thecoromandel

 

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

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#goodforyoursoul

#thecoromandel

#opentheworld