Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with a population of 1.4 million and the greatest concentration of Polynesians in the Pacific. It is known as the ‘City of Sails’ and it is thought that 1 in 3 people own some form of watercraft.
“Latin skies upon Chinese lagoons
tousled, sunny-mouthed, sandy-legged coast”
~ Poet Allen Curnow
Ruapuke Beach is reached via a winding dirt-road that snakes its way through native New Zealand bush and lush green rolling hills beneath the foothills of Mount Karioi, an extinct volcano that watches over the town of Raglan.
The black volcanic sand is so hot that when the waves come in steam rises! Surfers ride the waves. the only ones we have seen along the coast today. Rock pools are a rich source of photographic inspiration; tiny crabs scurrying one way then another in the shallow pools, a red crab hiding under a rock, green and shiny mussels, black barnacles, starfish waiting for the tide to turn, shiny seaweed drying on the rocks. Black sand.
In the Country
Waikato is dairy country. The green rolling hills are home to cattle and wild flowers. And views.
Arts and Crafts
Raglan is home to many artists who produce original art, carvings, jewellery and other handicrafts. Shopping here can be an expensive pastime!
Te Parapara Garden
In pre-European times there were many gardens on the banks of the Waikato River. Te Parapara takes its name from a pa that was located on the site of Hamilton Gardens. This garden illustrates Maori horticultural traditions and technologies.
Maori horticulture is closely connected to spiritual beliefs. Gardens and gardening practices have ritual aspects. The carved figures on the palisades (pouwhakarae) represent specific ancestral figures.
This brings me to the end of my New Zealand adventures. I have only seen a tiny portion of these amazing islands, but what I have seen has impressed me. A lot. I will be back…