June 2012


My son and I took a walk through the Paekakariki Domain this afternoon, which provides a good vantage point from which to view the Paekakariki hills [click here to view map].

These hills rise steeply from the eastern side of the State Highway, creating a dominant backdrop to the town of Paekakariki. Rugged and raw, rather than picturesque, with their wind-gnarled scrub and angular contours, I have always found them alluring. (more…)

My son (3 and a half) requested that we go for a drive this afternoon. I asked where he would like to go, and he said he would like to walk in the forest. (Truly his mother’s son!)

So, we headed into Reikorangi Valley and followed Mangaone South Road, where the southern end of the Mangaone Walkway is accessed. The last time we had explored this track (when my son was about two), we only got as far as the swing bridge (50 metres in), before becoming ensconced by the river, experimenting with the myriad different ways stones can be thrown into the water (<– irony). So no actual bush-walking was undertaken on that occasion. (more…)

In her recent report exploring the in the way choices between generating hydroelectricity and preserving wild and scenic rivers are made, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment highlights the case of the Ohakuri Dam, which was built on the Waikato River in 1961. This was the site of the spectacular Orakei Korako geothermal area, known as “Geyserland”. (more…)

In the last post, The “Hautere Turnips” of Te Horo, the origin and history of the stone walls, cairns and piles characteristic of this area was discussed. Another unusual feature of Te Horo is the large number of totara groves that can be seen in the fields. (more…)

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