Monthly Archives: July 2015

Another wild coastline

Not far from my home on the West Coast of the North Island, New Zealand, there is more wild coastline.

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Views from above this coastline can be gained from Whitireia Park, a reserve area which some years ago was farmed.

Standing on the high cliffs in the park there is almost always a wind blowing across this exposed site. It is bracing and exhilarating.

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This high vantage point offers great views of Mana Island, a wildlife sanctuary.

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The rocks are rugged and treacherous here as the Tasman Sea washes into the Porirua harbour entrance.

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People use this stretch of coast and this park for all manner of recreational pursuits, both in the sea and on the land.

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My visit was to record more of the beautiful landscapes that are found in the area in which I am fortunate enough to live.

A trip to the South Coast

A break in the weather meant a jaunt down to the South Coast of Wellington. It was a stunning day but any breeze that was blowing was still bitterly cold. Our climate can be harsh here so any day when the sky is clear blue, the wind low and the sun shining brightly is a day to get out and about.

It has been a long time since we visited this wild, wind-swept and often stormy stretch of coastline. When the southerlies pound in the sea is an extreme and dangerous force.

It is also near the entrance to the Wellington Harbour and around the road to the west is the runway for the airport.

Across the Wellington Heads the land is no less rugged or any more hospitable.

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The channel into the harbour has many jagged rocks and reefs so navigation is done very carefully, often with a locally based Pilot to steer foreign ships safely into the harbour.
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There are no safe swimming beaches but plenty of rocks to climb and explore.
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Diving is a popular past time for the people brave enough to go into the icy waters.

The sea here is a mix of Cook Strait (that divides the two main islands of New Zealand) and the Pacific Ocean.
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Sadly the high, snow-laden Kaikoura mountains at the northern part of the South Island were hazy but they help explain why the air is so very, very cold at the moment.
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After braving the rough, stony beach to take some photos, including this one of one of the regular Ferries that cross Cook Strait
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and of this aeroplane coming in to land at the airport, we headed to a popular café in nearby Lyall Bay to enjoy a hot drink.
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From the footpath near the café the view goes back to the airport and beyond that the beach we had just stopped at to take the photos.
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In contrast this is a sandy beach and people surf and swim here although the water is never particularly warm.

Bracing and beautiful summed up the experience.

Diamonds on velvet

Another hardy Pansy has popped its velvety face to the light today after keeping safe through the past week’s snow, sleet, hail, rain, bitter temperatures and howling winds.

Gentle rain fell here overnight and in the still conditions, post storm, the raindrops clung like diamonds to velvet.DSCF2817 (1280x961)DSCF2818 (1280x960) (1280x960)DSCF2822

A good day’s play

Master 6 and Ms 3 were here for the day yesterday. A winter wind was biting so the indoor treasures needed to be unpacked and put to good use.

The original Smurfs are often arranged on these interlocking shapes. Our small collection of dinosaurs was part of the game too.

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Charlotte was dressed ready for the weather
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while Mary was discovered to have strong legs which meant she could stand leaning against the horse near “Church”.
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A secret spy base was erected behind some furniture, with blankets to keep the base dark and therefore more secret. You may notice a gun resting on the chair, just in case the “baddies” come.
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Ralph, the dog, needed the attention of the Doctor so once checked and treated he was tucked in under Great Gran’s colourful, knitted rug.
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Lego was used creatively;
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Koosh balls were discovered then tossed about in the hallway when energy levels reached big muscle activity time.
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Then it was time to go home, leaving Mary tucked into her warm clothes and cosy bed
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and a well-armed Lego man guarding us all.
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