New Zealand Wrap-up #2


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

Ultimate Holiday


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

Left-hand waves at Manu Beach

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…


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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

46 thoughts on “New Zealand Wrap-up #2”

  1. Love the Maori garden and sculpture Jude, and the opening shots are so blue! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I hope that I am around to enjoy the reports of your next trip there.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. I really enjoyed my short time there, despite some cooler, wet weather. It was nice to be off the usual tourist route and meet Kiwis and join in with the way they live. I felt quite at home 🙂

  2. You pack so much into your wrap-ups, Jude. I have more of a feel for NZ now than I did two weeks ago, thanks to you. Those shells are beautiful, and I’ve never thought of NZ as so blue. Did you succumb to the buying bug?

    Are you at all looking forward to going home?

    1. The mussel shells were amazing, such bright green and deep red! I loved that beach. I did buy a few things to remind me of this stunning country, hope I get them home in one piece. I am looking forward to not living out of a suitcase! And seeing the OH of course, and we have a new grandchild to look forward to in February. Not looking forward to dark days, but at least it is almost the winter solstice so I can start looking forward to spring.

  3. Oh, how I should love to visit Kiwiland. Such BEAUTY ! Such variety ! Such pride in the fact that they were never defeated in war ! 🙂

  4. You have really captured the spirit and heart of NZ in your photos Jude. I love Australia but in my heart I think of NZ as my home land (even though I was born in UK) I’m sure you will be back, it is small in comparison to Australia, but so much diversity to see

    1. Not to mention cheaper! I was shocked by food prices in Sydney when I first arrived, but after buying avos for 79 cents in NZ and $2.78 today in Sydney I am doubly shocked.

    1. New Zealand has captured my heart. I love the colour of the ocean, the flora, the friendliness and how it reminds me so much of the Cape in SA. I’m definitely going to return, but it might be a while!

    1. I shall contact you next time. This was just a brief visit to meet my new grandson’s kiwi grandparents, but I do want to see much more! Which part are you from?

      1. Fingers are crossed! 🙂 I arrive on Thursday. And then I have a 4 hour journey in front of me too, in the opposite direction … Say hello to M-R tomorrow, have fun! 🙂 xo

  5. All your photos of water and the boats are heavenly. All those shades of blue are a feast for my eyes. Both the country and the gardens are amazing and the art, oh my!

    This has been an excellent tour. Thank you.

  6. I think that Jill from ‘Jill’s Scene’ lives nearby to Raglan too? Glad you enjoyed your new adventure, Jude. You’ve had a fine old time and we’ve enjoyed it right along with you. I can imagine much planning and scheming going on for the future 🙂

  7. Jude your photos and posts have definitely help put Australia and New Zealand higher on our list. I love your galleries in this post, especially the ones with the rock, coral and shells. The vision of steam rising off the black sand as the waves roll in is remarkable!

  8. How beautiful these photos are Jude, you must not want to come back! Look at the colour of that water! Love the ‘City of Sails’. What an amazing place to live. Are you back yet?

  9. So it seems we were there just a couple of months apart. I went to a Native Plant Society of Texas meeting last night and discovered that someone I hadn’t seen in a while went to New Zealand in April. The whole world is visiting New Zealand.

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