Saturday, May 31, 2008


Went out on the boat in the glorious sunshine and headed for the island reserve of Tiritiri Matangi. It's a bird reserve and the woods are full of birdsong! we saw tui, bellbirds, pukeko, saddleback, kokapo, fantails and my favourite, takahe.. the takahe was presumed extinct and when some were discovered in South Island the reserve was established. Now there are 250 of them in the world! We had our picnic at the lighthouse and saw four takahe, one came close enough to touch!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


This is another beautiful beach out west, called Cornwallis, the girls are sitting on a pohutakawa
( poe - hoot - a - cower ) tree, which flowers at Christmas and is covered in bright red blossoms; they grow all along the coast line. On Bank holidays everyone comes here to use the free barbeques and spend the day with their families, swimming and playing games, I still can't get over the fact that we can go to the beach 365 days a year!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


A beautiful place to visit in the early summer when the flowers are out. They look as if they are out of Alice in Wonderland, unreal..

My friend Miriam took me and there are lakefuls of them in various shades of pink, from lurid to soft. You wander through gardens with a waterfall and lakes with boardwalks. It's built in what used to be a quarry.

We saw a wedding practise going on in the watergardens filled with irises. A definite hidden treasure to visit and picnic in.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Spent the day out West again.. visited Titirangi Craft Market and went on to visit Whatipu ( remember to pronounce the 'wh' as an 'f'!). It's an isolated coastal beach, quite wild and beautiful, black sand and dangerous tides.
We were interested in comparing the olden day photos, when there was a logging railway there, with what it looked like today .. the pictures will give you an idea.. bit of history for you all !


The girls spent the afternoon with the Sumantran tiger, Oz.
They had to leave a bloodtrail in his enclosure (yuk!) and hide meat for him to find (imagine how the vegetarian coped with that!)
Beautiful photo of Oz and one of the girls in his enclosure; they briefly became the exhibit as they set everything up. "It was really cool!"

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Just in case you can't believe it, here are the girls feeding the hippo!

Look at those teeth!

Imagine that breath!


The girls went on a behind-the-scenes tour yesterday with their friend, Emma .. it was called 'The African Experience', they met Snorkel, the Hippo.. and fed him cabbages.. they patted a Rhino.. and fed the Giraffes! It was AMAZING !

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


In New Zealand roundabouts are unique and a lot of time & creative thought goes into them. This one, in Titirangi, out West, is of three fungi that grow on the ferns out here, and nowhere else in the world - they made the sculptures bigger than the actual fungus of course!


There was a sculpture trail at the Botanical Gardens and there were some amazing sculptures there. Took us ages to find them all, some were in the lake, a few in the woods, here are two we liked. The floating one was the strangest, but we thought the kauri snail (in the picture) would look good on the patio!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Thought you might like to see the view from my classroom...

Quite something !
Back to work and winter is approaching - off to somewhere warmer in the winter break!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


A lovely bay with the best ice-creams in the area!

Spent time walking along the coast, finding starfish and shells.
You can see how crowded it is.. that's the weekend for you!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We have a 'Crazy Hat Day' coming up at school - wondered about witch hats, pirate hats, even a jester hat - but the England Hat won! I wonder what the reaction will be - we felt the Union Jack wrapped around the shoulders might be too much for the kiwis! Will keep you posted!


Today was gorgeous weather, so we strolled around Musick Point ( no, I haven't spelt it wrong!)It's on the Peninsula, just east of Auckland City. Originally a Maori Pa, which, on 22nd January 1836, a missionary purchased from the Maori people :for 90 blankets, 14 spades, 900lbs of tobacco, 24 combs & 12 plain irons. It's 40,000 hectares!

Anyway, we saw this rock in the water - it's the shape of England!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


We live on the edge of Howick. This church in was built in 1854 and is the second oldest church in New Zealand! Howick Historical village was built by the fencibles who arrived here. Here are the girls on their 'walk' of the town, which is lovely.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Teenage life has begun well!

She had a massive number 13 cake and a chocolate fondue!

Went to the Chocolate shop for hot chocolate too!

Chocoholics anonymous will be contacting us shortly.

One thing we DO miss... Thorntons!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day was on the same day as Sophia's birthday and I now have two 'grungy teenagers'! The weather remains fabulous with nightly downpours to keep everything green. Spent the day at Waiwera, thermal springs, lots of chocolate cake and cupcakes and the sun shone!

Friday, May 2, 2008


Here we are into autumn.. our friends from the UK have arrived back from their Grand Tour.. the kingfisher sits on the balcony with his catch.. even a cockatoo.. and the usual parrots... we begin the hockey season and a log fire or two..