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Archive for 'bush walk'

Making a List, Checkin it Twice!

I’ve participated in Thursday Thirteen for quite a few years now. I’m shifting things up a little this year – changing the rules. Instead of doing a list of thirteen items each week, I intend to vary the length of my list.

New Zealand Holiday 2014

Five Places I Visited Over the Christmas Break

Hubby and I ran away for Christmas and took a cruise around New Zealand and over to Melbourne in Australia.

1. We walked around Mt Maunganui and enjoyed a sunny day at The Mount. After our walk we relaxed with a few drinks. (photo of the beach – top far right)

2. During our stop at Wellington, we visited the Weta Workshop, famous for all the movie special effects. This is Golem from Lord of the Rings.

3. On Christmas day, we stopped at Port Chalmers, not far from Dunedin in the South Island. With not much open, we decided to go for a walk to counteract those Christmas goodies. We took photos of the Holy Trinity church.

4. Our walk took us upward as we tackled a hill. The road down was through shady bush.

5. The seas became rougher after Christmas day as a storm passed. The dining rooms were quieter and many people were sea sick. I didn’t get sick but I “visited” the middle of the ship because the range of motion is less there. The glass of ginger ale helped to settle my stomach too!

What did you do over your Christmas break?

Bushwalking in the Waitakere, Auckland

This year I’m trying to do some of the things I’ve thought about doing for years but haven’t got around to for one reason or another. Last week I took time out from writing to do some bushwalking with author friend Tessa Radley. We joined a group walk that left from Cascade Kauri in the Waitakere. I haven’t really visited this area in the west of Auckland before, but managed to do a creditable job of map reading to the meet area.

We were a small group of seven with varying levels of fitness. Once we left the car park—we were informed three bus loads of kids were due to arrive at any moment for a camp—the bush surrounded us, and it became quiet and peaceful.

This area is known for its kauri trees. Although I’ve seen kauri trees before and have visited the largest one in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta, I haven’t seen a forest of them before. The kauri were prized by settlers for their timber and also the gum they produce. Large forested areas were cleared, but luckily this area was turned into a reserve.

Kauri Tree, Cascade Kauri, Auckland  Cascade Kauri Park, Auckland

The walking tracks come in various levels. Some are easy and suitable for pushchairs while others have huge steps that challenged my long legs and paths full of treacherous roots and mud. We took our time, watching birds and identifying various trees, plants and seeds.

Kauri Tree, Auckland  Waitakere Reservoir, Auckland

After about two hours walking, we reached the Waitakere Reservoir where we took a break for lunch. The view was gorgeous from the bottom of the dam—trees and green as far as the eye could see.

Cascade Kauri, Auckland

Our return walk was via a different route. We were almost back and walking on a flat gravel path when I saw a fantail flitting above our heads. “Look at the fantail,” I said to Tessa. I opened my mouth about to tell her she was really close to the edge of the bank when over she went. I grabbed her daypack and stopped her from rolling further down the bank and hitting her head on the trees, but she sprained her ankle and pulled muscles. A terrible end to a great day, but she assures me she’s all right now and is ready to go on another walk next month.

Do you like bushwalking?