Tag Archives: Porirua Harbour

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.

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Vantage points

Summer has hit here with a capital “S”! Temperatures have been high and being out in the blazing sun for too long is not advisable. Sun hats, sun block, covering up, seeking shade and plenty of fluid is the order of the day.

The sky has been a deep, clear blue for days on end without a cloud in sight.

Yesterday an errand took me near this vantage point and I thought I would share some photos of the Porirua Harbour and views over Porirua.
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Mana marina, Porirua

Mana marina, Porirua


The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet.  Mana Marina to the right of the photo.

The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet. Mana Marina to the right of the photo.


The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua

The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua


The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.

The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.


Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua

Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua


A section of Porirua City

A section of Porirua City


The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city.  The highest point is known as Colonial Knob.  It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.

The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city. The highest point is known as Colonial Knob. It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.

A local resident was using his vantage point to fly the Union Jack.
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And finally this Black Backed Gull decided to use this vantage point near me!
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On a clear day you can see forever

We have lived in this area for over 25 years and naturally many changes have happened in that time. When we first lived here this hill to the northwest of our home was named “Pine tree Hill” by the children because that described it perfectly.
Pinetree hill and moon

Eventually the pine trees were felled and the logs that were commercially viable were taken away. The bare sides of the hill were hard to look at. But very quickly mass planting of natives began and they are all well-established along with many flowering cherry trees and other plants that have resulted from birds dropping seeds. The hill provides cover and food for many of the regenerating native bird populations.

Last year our city council spent some money on making a look out area on the most northern part of this hill. Earlier this week these photos were taken from this wonderful vantage point on what is now known as the Spinnaker Lookout.

This is the view back to my “neck of the woods”
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The photo below shows the large area of trees, native and exotic that cover a hillside near my home and which is a great home for our birds and wildlife as well as wonderful places for children to play in the natural world.
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This view is the Lookout at the end of my street and which is currently under the gaze of the city council to perhaps “improve” it in some way. We will give careful thought to our submission as this area is windswept and natural with growing areas of natives and home to visits by the Shining Cuckoo, tui flocks and families and no doubt many other birds. It is a great area for children to play on in a free and natural manner using their imaginations.
DSCF6473 I look out onto these hills from the kitchen window above the sink. The hills are extremely dry at the moment thanks to all the winds we have had this summer and the lower rainfall in the past few weeks. I like the micro-view I have of these hills as I watch the light and shadows change, the weather changes and the movement of cattle from time to time. This photo is much more of a big picture view.
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Back to the east is the Pauatahanui Inlet with the small settlement of Pauatahahui at the head of the Inlet.
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A shift to the west shows the Inlet, then the entrance to the Porirua Harbour and in the distance the Tasman Sea. Somewhere over the horizon is Australia.
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Finally a more western view shows the South Island as blue hills off in the distance.
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Large trees block any view due south into another section of my suburb.
This photograph shows the village of Whitby and some areas of earthworks as development moves apace again.
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At the vantage point high on Spinnaker Hill there are two large signs offering visitors links to various places of interest with a historical reference or two, some ecology information and links to other walking tracks as well as the interesting symbol that smart phones can read and then provide more information.
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There is a large seat to rest on after the rigorous climb to this point and the plantings around this and the signs on the vantage point have been selected to survive conditions in this very windy spot. You can tell which way the predominant wind blows from this tough, drought resistance grass.

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Even on this cloudless day there was a stiff nor’wester blowing.

The path down through the wind tossed exotic gum trees crackling with cicadas and off home for a well earned cup of tea.
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On a cold and frosty morning

We had a heavy frost here this morning. However it also meant that the air was crisp and clear and the light was good for taking some photos at my favourite beach at Plimmerton.

Another frost is promised for tomorrow.

Living waters, quilting and ceramics

We have been in the midst of a huge winter storm system since Friday. The wind has shaken the house at times, the thunder has shaken the house at times and the heavy rain and hail have pelted against the windows and roof. There have also been periods of calm and dry within all this extra high energy.

This is all set against the news in the past few days of more earthquakes in Japan, the Pacific, Christchurch and a sizeable tremor located in Taupo but felt here in various degrees of severity. The Kermadec Islands jolt set off Tsunami watches here and with three family members living or working close to the coast my antennae were well up for an hour or two until the “watch” was lifted. A tornado hit an area 35 kms north of where I live and that has put an increased alert in my mind too. There seems much to be aware of right now.

Set against all this weather and the forces of nature it was with delight that I noticed patches of blue sky during the morning and so I set off to watch a DVD being shown outside our main public library.

This DVD featured 2 or 3 episodes in the Living Waters, Tiakina Nga Taonga – Protect the Treasure series. The makers plan to make a new episode each month for a year celebrating the unique ecology, diversity and beauty of the Porirua Harbour and the piece that I see on an almost daily basis, the Pauatahanui Inlet.

I felt transported into a much calmer space as I sat and enjoyed the small creatures, the fish, the birdlife, and the plants that inhabit both the Inlet and its fresh water sources. The humans featured on the episodes ranged in age from young school age children to elderly, all of whom were learning about this wonderful environment and contributing to the maintenance and knowledge of a very unique eco-system.

I see on the website that there are episodes online that I have yet to view so if the forecast “systems” in this storm arrive I can look forward to watching those at home.

I then went to the nearby gallery and enjoyed the exhibition mounted by the Coastal Quilters and artists from the local Gear Homestead group. The range of colour, pattern and individual creations was stunning. It was a visual feast.

Refreshed from this outing I am pleased to report a lull in the weather currently which I am really enjoying.