On my last trip to Auckland to visit family -see the post on Port Albert - we visited the giant sand dunes at Bethells Beach.
Lake Wainamu is a dune lake that formed during the last 6,500 years when the Wainamu Stream Valley was dammed by dunes of sand blown inland. It provides a welcome oasis after trekking across the dunes.
Several times a year I travel from my home in Kaikohe to Auckland to visit family. On the way, I pass the road to Port Albert. For years I have intended to detour there to have a look at the settlement and take some photos but have always been too focused on getting to Auckland or getting home on the return trip.
I had a bit of spare time on the most recent trip to Auckland so finally made the detour to Port Albert.
To say the least I was a bit disappointed as since it is one of the oldest settlements on the Kaipara Harbour I hoped to find some lovely old houses to photograph. Instead, I found mostly fairly modern houses, some not even finished landscaping around the new house.
At the end of the road, there is a wharf and quite a nice reserve which would be good for a picnic and is okay for freedom camping. On the way out of Port Albert I saw, and photographed, an old boat anchor that was beside the driveway into a house.
I may not have given Port Albert a really good look around and there may indeed be some nice old houses there but I didn't see them. Perhaps the clue is in the sign where it says that the original plans for a township were thwarted.
There is not much detailed information about Port Albert on the internet, but I found this from the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection - Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1902 - to be of some interest.
I have quite a few photos taken over the years that show changes in places but a few that I felt showed some dramatic changes are of Karekare Beach at Auckland's west coast where the sand is taking over.
While visiting my family in Auckland for Christmas we went for a walk through a bush track down to Kendall Bay on Auckland's North Shore. Quite a steep track but good for working off the extra Christmas food.
Again, could be that I have eaten too much anyway.
Over recent years many of the walls in Kaikohe have been decorated with paintings.
The featured image of the painting on the wall of the old Kaikohe Hotel was the first major mural artwork done in Kaikohe back in 2013 but has since been lost as the hotel was demolished a year later.
More recently this wall changed from plain grey to cheery faces - but since has changed back again.
Behind the Kaikohe Library where the new electric vehicle charging station is situated this wall mural appeared featuring our native Tui bird.
I had a trip planned for Wednesday 16th May to visit Omapere when the sun would be setting more or less in line with the wharf. I worked this out using the Photographers Ephemeris. As it happened I decided to do this trip on Tuesday instead, which turned out perfectly as the sunset on Tuesday was great. If I had left it until Wednesday I would have missed out as the weather was overcast with no sunset at all.
Several photos from that trip.
Now that it is nearly the end of autumn here I felt it was time to make an effort to capture a good sunset, so with that end in mind I took a drive out to Rawene where there is a good view across the Hokianga Harbour instead of into a hill that is my westerly view from home. Going somewhere to photograph a sunset is always a bit of a chance as you never know what you are going to get. In this case, it worked out well.
On Saturday, 19th September, I spent some time in Kawakawa with a few members of the Bay of Islands/Kaikohe Photography Club. From 10 until noon we roamed around the centre of town and the railway station photographing everything that took our attention. The weather which has not been the best lately held up with no rain although there wasn't really any sunshine either. We finished up with a snack at the Railway Station Cafe.
No photographs of Kawakawa are complete without one of the steam engine Gabriel of the Bay of Islands Railway steaming along the main road.