Blogs from New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington August 18th 2021

Due to this terrible pandemic which has changed the world so drastically, I, along with everyone else, have had the joy of the freedom to travel taken away. A small price to pay compared to the misery inflected on so many people throughout the world due to this pandemic. So during the last 17 months I have often relied on my memories of travels past, or the dreams of where, when and how, my travel could take me when, and if, the freedom to travel returns. As they say "Dreams are free". Memories. 1990. At the grand old age of 42 I made my first overseas trip. This was to Sydney, Australia. A huge 3 1/2 hour flight away from my beloved New Zealand. Oh, the anticipation. I had never harboured any ambition to travel, due ... read more
Sydney 1990
Sydney 1990
Sydney  1990

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taranaki July 18th 2021

Finding myself back in Patea, with my six year old grandson and Bruno the Malshi, I decided take them to see the wreck of the Waitangi. It was really surprising to see how much she had changed since my last visit a few weeks ago. I could see timber this time which I had never seen before. My grandson was very interested for approximately 30 seconds, only because he knew his sister wanted to see a shipwreck so he had something to skite about. The large stick he found nearby was far more interesting as he could poke holes in the sand with it, draw in the sand with it, flick sand with it..... But at least I could say I had introduced him to a piece of NZ history.... read more
The Waitangi
The Waitangi
The Waitangi

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui » Wanganui July 15th 2021

It was a cold but fine winter's day. Where would you expect to find a Kiwi grandmother with her two young grandkids? At the beach of course! Ototoka Beach is about 30 minute's drive from Wanganui. It is located at the end of Ototoka Beach Road at Maxwell. I always drive north from Wanganui, turning left onto Rapanui Road (look for the Bason Botanical Gardens sign opposite the BP Station), and then I just keep driving, past the turn off to Kai Iwi Beach until I find the dirt road that leads to the beach. The first thing I noticed this time were the 2 long drops which weren't there last time. For those of you who don't have any idea of what a long drop is, let's just say it's a toilet. As long drops ... read more
The track down to the beach
The waterfall on the way down to the beach
The beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui July 14th 2021

Wanganui is very fortunate to have the Paddle Steamer Waimarie. She is NZ's only authentic coal-fired paddle steamer in operation. https://waimarie.co.nz/ This website will give you all the details you need to know about her but I want to show you some photos taken this week which you may never get to take for yourself. The Waimarie is currently not sailing. She has been taken out of the river to have maintenance done. This means she is on the bank of the Wanganui River and it is possible to get up close to her. It is absolutely amazing to see her like this. My grandchildren were fascinated. You can find her by driving through Kowhai Park and there is parking beside the skate park/under Dublin St bridge. Just keep hold of the kids as it is ... read more
Waimarie2
Waimarie3
Waimarie4

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui » Wanganui July 14th 2021

The best thing about having young grandchildren is being able to do things with them that I wouldn't do by myself. One of my favourite school holiday activities is riding the Tot Town Train at Kowhai Park with them. It brings back memories of doing this when I was a child, many years (okay, many decades) ago. I always find several other grandparents on the train with me so I don't feel like a complete idiot riding a miniature train. You can ride the train for $2.50 person. It will take you round and round the part of Kowhai Park that was built when I was a child and which is basically worthless compared to the main part of the park. You go past the Pirate Ship, which is tolerable if your kids have a good ... read more
Tot Town train
Tot Town train
Tot Town train

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui » Wanganui July 13th 2021

There is a FB page that will tell you all about SteamRail Wanganui Incorporated which "was formed in 1989 with the main purpose of preserving the Wanganui Turntable and any future Railway memorabilia." https://www.facebook.com/SteamRail-Wanganui-Inc-1536363919989567 I have chosen to share photos of the turntable and things I think are worth looking at and photographing nearby. They are just up the road from Trafalgar Square, on Taupo Quay, so if you have someone who wants to check out the extremely limited shopping options there, you can escape and stroll around the old carriages instead.... read more
Turntable
Taupo Quay
Taupo Quay

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Manawatu July 12th 2021

At the intersection of State Highways 2 and 3 you will find Woodville. It is a great place for to stop and take a break as you will probably be on your way to somewhere completely different, passing through Palmerston North in one direction or the other. I love Woodville as my ancestors were some of the early settlers in the Seventy Mile Bush, which extended along the eastern side of the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges, and many of them are buried in the Old Gorge Cemetery at Woodville. It is a place that feels like home. For a small town of around just 450 households, there is a great number of caf├ęs, bakeries, bookshops, galleries, museums, gift shops and antique stores for you to explore. If you like Op Shopping, you need to check out ... read more
Fountaine Park
The war memorial with my great-great uncle's name on it
Rotunda

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Manawatu July 11th 2021

If you are travelling between Woodville and Palmerston North, you have to drive over the Saddle Road. I love this road as it takes me across the Ruahine Ranges where the Te Apiti Wind Farm is situated. https://manawatunz.co.nz/te-apiti-wind-farm-lookout/ The gigantic wind turbines have sprung up across the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges. From a distance you will be amazed at how many turbines you can see. But the best part of driving over the Saddle Road is finding yourself right beside them or right underneath them. The sheer size of them up close will take your breath away. I found them slightly scary the first time as they reminded me of a sci-fi tv series I loved many years ago and I kept expecting to see them to get up and move to another spot. At the ... read more
Wind turbines
Wind turbines
Wind turbines

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island July 10th 2021

As a genealogist, I spend a great deal of time in cemeteries all over the country. But this cemetery is my favourite, mainly because I have great-great grandparents buried there but also because of its historic value and because it is the most peaceful place I have ever spent time in. Finding the cemetery is slightly tricky the first time. Located on the outskirts of Woodville, you have to pretend you are going to drive through the closed Manawatu Gorge by driving along Napier Road as the cemetery is located on the north side of SH3 near Old Gorge Road. Just drive right past the large sign that points out that the gorge is closed. You will see the lawn cemetery on your left and a yellow AA sign pointing to the right. Look across the ... read more
A view of the cemetery
A view of the cemetery
A view of the cemetery

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taranaki May 31st 2021

Patea is my home town and a place I still spend a great deal of time in. Every time I go home I clamber over the sand to visit the Waitangi, a steamer owned by the Patea Co-operative Freezing Company, which attempted to cross the bar but ran aground on 5 May 1923. Every visit is different. Sometimes I can barely see any part of her. Sometimes the tides have washed away more of the sand. But I have never seen her as exposed as she currently is. Being able to stand on her, while the sea swirled in around us, was surreal and very special. She is quite easy to find. When you arrive at Mana Bay you will see an orange lifebelt on a post to your right. Simply walk past this, head onto ... read more
The Waitangi
The Waitangi
The Waitangi




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