Saturday morning walk in Ohiwa at Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park. A few route options in this small reserve depending how far you want to walk. We were cut short as it started to rain so headed back via a short cut to the beach and back to the car park. A longer 5Km route takes you further over the hill and out further east along the beach.
The route can be found on my MapShare. Look under ‘New Zealand’ collection, ‘Routes’ and select “NZ – Ohiwa Walk”. Several Waypoints can also be found to check out interesting spots – Puriri Tree, Glow Worms and Ohope Harbour views.
I have for a while been checking out Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) or a more techy gadget of a Satellite Navigator. Often in New Zealand you find yourself without mobile phone coverage and my last bike blast in Thailand on the Scrambler resulted in a flat tyre in the countryside. In the end I purchased a Garmin inReach MINI which gave me worldwide coverage with one button SOS service and additionally some other cool features you will see more of in this post.
So one thing I can do now is record tracks and waypoints and publish them to the MapShare website, where you can check them out. It is a bit sparse at the moment but will fill up in time. I am learning how it all works and best way to organise things. The MapShare link can also be found from the top of the page.
My first test for MapShare and the inReach MINI was tracking a drive from Whakatane to Auckland and marking a few interesting points along the way. The day was somewhat overcast but NZ looks great in most conditions. All the photos below and the routing can be found on the MapShare website. When you first go to the website it will show my last location so click “Tracks” under “Library” and select “Whakatane to Auckland”.
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) on 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:
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.