A quick blast of photos from several walks with my lovely wife around Whakatane, Ohope, Ohiwa, Lake Okataina in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. This will not be a comprehensive description of walks you can do around Whakatane, there are loads! But some useful links if you are interested can be found below:
As I now call New Zealand home (more than Thailand is presently) there has been a reshuffle of vehicles. I won’t bother you with boring details of cars and talk about bikes! In Thailand my beloved long serving BMW R1200GS has been sold which left budget for a new bike to explore New Zealand with.
Not wanting to rush into a decision I quelled my desires with purchases of bike related goodies as can been seen below:
Thankfully the task in New Zealand of choosing my new bike is somewhat eased with Cyclespot distributing all the brands I was interested in; BMW, KTM and Ducati. Not wanting to bore you with a step by step description of the decision process a cracking deal on a 2017 Ducati Multistrada won the day.
Living in the small little Whakatane town means Cycspot’s devlivery service was well received. I wait patiently for the van to delivery with it’s load of Italian goodness. Within an hour I was off for my first ride.
Gallipoli – The Scale of War is a current (as of Early 2019) exhibit at New Zealand’s National Museum Te Papa in Wellington. Gallipoli is one of the most moving experiences I have ever had. It is confronting, sobering and emotional.
The exhibit takes you on a journey through the ill fated naval and amphibious attacks on the Gallipoli Peninsula (in Turkey) through five amazing larger than life size models in poignant moments. It is hard to describe the impact these models, of real life men and woman, have on you as you step through chronologically the events of the Gallipoli Campaign.
A total of 100,000 died with Australia and New Zealand suffering about 10% of that total. Gallipoli for both New Zealand and Australian is highly significant and widely accepted as start of a national consciousness of their nations. It is commemorated each year with ANZAC Day on the 25th April.
The scale of the models can be seen below with my wife visible in the background of Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott:
On a lazy Saturday road trip along the East Cost road (State Highway 35) we stumbled across the beautiful Christ Church in Raukokore. It is open for the local citizenry and passing traveller alike. As a local landmark it comes into and passes out of view over a number of kilometres.
The church is named as one of the region’s “101 must-do” sites by the AA!
The renovated railway line in Awakeri near Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand is a delight. Drive yourself (with up to three friends) a modified golf buggy along about 16Km of track; watch the world go by, feed the fowl, walk in native bush and hear tall stories of wild animal attacks with your friendly Kiwi railway line renovators and tour guides.
Check it out and book here: Awakeri Railway or call 0800 537 4724 if in New Zealand
I was not in the mood for a flashy video but a more chilled overview of the trip can be seen in the video along with photos below:
My sister is an excellent present finder and at Christmas and Birthdays it is always intriguing to see what she has found. This year a Kalimba made in Burkina Faso, although I think she did not travel there to buy it! A quick search and I discovered my version is somewhat on the basic end of the Kalimba scale and made out of a sardine can but lovingly hand crafted. It is a genuine delight to to have. A deluxe Kalimba can be viewed here and the sound of my one can be heard below, I can obviously not play it and it is a little tricky to get a nice tone out of it.
Always a good evening with Coldplay! End of school year for Tahn before heading back to Bangkok for summer break. She made me go when the gates opened and boy was it a good idea, right at the front, a long wait but so worth it!
Not far from my daughter’s school in Cambridge is the Lords of the Rings and Hobbit film set of Hobbiton. So a free Saturday morning was taken care of and my wallet NZ$105 lighter. It really is exactly like you imagine from the movies with no detail too small to be overlooked. All of the 55 hobbit holes belong to various folks that make up modern hobbit life; the baker, the fish monger, the cheese maker, the village drunk etc etc. There is also an inordinate amount of hobbit laundry hanging out.
There is not much more than a Hobbit village to walk around (in a rather regimented way) but fascinating all the same with a free drink at the end at the Green Dragon.
This October I spent a couple of weeks in New Zealand with my daughter cruising around the South Island. It was my first time to spend any length of time on the West Coast and these shots are of the fascinating Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki. They are located right on highway 6 about 45km north of Greymouth and are easy to find taking about 20 to 40 minutes to walk the well laid out track.