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.

Google map of Bethells Beach and Lake Wainamu
Google map of Bethells Beach and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes and stream
Bethells Beach sand dunes and stream
Bethells Beach sand dunes and stream
Bethells Beach sand dunes and stream
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes and Lake Wainamu
Bethells Beach sand dunes sculptured by the wind
Bethells Beach sand dunes sculptured by the wind

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.

Port Albert sign
Port Albert sign
Port Albert wharf
Port Albert wharf
Port Albert wharf
Port Albert wharf
Port Albert reserve and camping ground
Port Albert reserve and camping ground
Old ships anchor at Port Albert
Old ships anchor at Port Albert

Karekare Beach, West Coast, Auckland

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.

Karekare bush railway engine 1960
Karekare bush railway engine 1960
Karekare bush railway engine buried 2008
Karekare bush railway engine buried 2008
Karekare Surf Club rooms 1960
Karekare Surf Club rooms 1960
Karekare surf club building 2008
Karekare surf club building 2008

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.

Kendall Bay, Auckland. Google map.
Kendall Bay, Auckland. Google map.
Kendall Bay, Auckland. Fallen pine tree
Kendall Bay, Auckland. Fallen pine tree
Kendall Bay, Auckland. Fallen pine tree
Kendall Bay, Auckland. Fallen pine tree
Kendall Bay pohutukawa tree
Kendall Bay pohutukawa tree
Kendall Bay pohutukawa tree
Kendall Bay pohutukawa tree
Kendall Bay, Auckland
Kendall Bay, Auckland
Kendall Bay, Auckland
Kendall Bay, Auckland
Kendall Bay reeds
Kendall Bay reeds
Kendall Bay pohutukawa flower
Kendall Bay pohutukawa flower
Kendall Bay flax flower
Kendall Bay flax flower
Kendall Bay flax flower
Kendall Bay flax flower
Kendall Bay pine needles
Pine needles

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.

The old Kaikohe Hotel being demolished.
Wall art disappearing. The old Kaikohe Hotel being demolished.
Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Marino Court.
Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Marino Court.
Wall art mural in Kaikohe on the Library
Wall art mural in Kaikohe on the Library
Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Marino Court.
Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Marino Court.

More recently this wall changed from plain grey to cheery faces - but since has changed back again.

Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Station Rd
Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Station Rd

Behind the Kaikohe Library where the new electric vehicle charging station is situated this wall mural appeared featuring our native Tui bird.

A tui, one of our native birds. Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Library Square
A tui, one of our native birds. Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Library Square
A tui, one of our native birds. Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Library Square
A tui, one of our native birds. Wall art mural in Kaikohe. Library Square

A full gallery of the Northland College paintings is here - Walls of Kaikohe Gallery

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.

Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sunset under Omapere wharf
Sunset under Omapere wharf
Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sunset at Omapere wharf
Sun rays over the hills at Opononi
Sun rays over the hills at Opononi

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.

Church at Motukaraka at sunset
Church at Motukaraka at sunset
Sunset at Rawene
Sunset at Rawene
Sunset lighting up the sky at Rawene
Sunset at Rawene

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.

Kawakawa main street
Kawakawa main street
Kawakawa Hotel
Kawakawa Hotel
Gabriel steam engine
Gabriel steam engine

No photographs of Kawakawa are complete without one of the steam engine Gabriel of the Bay of Islands Railway steaming along the main road.

© 2001-2020 Denis Wilford