Sunday, 17 May 2015

Goat Island Marine Reserve North Auckland

Here is another great idea for a Summer Day Trip and Picnic

especially if you love the sea, swimming, snorkelling and walking.
Explore New Zealand's under water world for a great day out.

The Marine Reserve is very busy over the Summer months so you need to get there early to claim your spot.

There is lots of information on the Marine Reserve as you follow the pathway down to the beach so you can learn a little about the marine life that you may see over the day. Great for kids too.

Located  North of Auckland approx. 1hr 15 mins drive I would say from central Auckland.
You turn off the main highway at Warkwoth and head North /East out past Matakana and continue to Leigh.
 Goat Island Marine Park is only 5 mins further up the road from Leigh

Parking has improved as I say this is very busy place over the summer  and there are also lots school trips and buses etc that turn up quite often. Get there early get a good park and picnic spot and settle in for a great day. Take your dive and  snorkel gear and even a kayak if you have one.

There is  snorkel gear etc  and kayaks available for hire if you don't have your own.

Enjoy a ride on the Glass Bottom Boat so you can see the fish and marine life with out getting wet.
Check out more information Here

Take a look at some more photos.


Top Your Visit To Goat Island Off With a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre.
Marine Discovery Centre

Top off your visit to Goat Island  nicely with a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre.  Open hours vary over the year you can find out more Here

Friday, 15 May 2015

5 Best Picnic Day Trips Auckland North

Great Picnic Spots Auckland 

Five of The Best Day Trips

                                   Auckland Domain.

Visit the Auckland Domain Picnic in the park under the trees, enjoy a walk around the winter gardens , play a game of friendly cricket and visit the Auckland Museum for a great day out.
Auckland Zoo
It has to be said that the Auckland Zoo is a great day out and perfect for an all day trip and picnic with so much to see you want to be able to take your time and it does take the best part of the day to really see every thing at the Zoo. Whether with family , friends or on your own put this trip to the top of the list when planning what to do for a great and enjoyable day.
Tiri Tiri Matangi Island
Head out into the Hauraki Gulf and grab the Ferry for an all day trip and picnic as you explore Tiri Tiri Matnagi Island and picnic at the light house after an enjoyable bush walk as you spot native birds and mingle with nature for a great day out.

Wenderholm Regional Park
 I had to pick this one especially as the perfect picnic spot as that is exactly what it is. Just half and hour give or take north of Auckland this is a great place to spend the day and offers  a little history, swimming , hiking , kayaking and with lots of huge Pohutukawa trees to shade under.


                                     West Coast Auckland

Head out west and visit the Waitakere Ranges For a  day of bush walking , swimming and enjoying the magic views. Check out the surf of Piha and spend the day exploring scenic New Zealand.


Monday, 11 May 2015

NZ Plants for Photography

 Out with the camera again
this time taken photos of plants. From native plants to flowers in the domestic garden taking a look at  some plants often seen around  North NZ

The Pohutukawa Tree Sprawls out over many NZ beaches , Parks and in many gardens. Great for picnicking under, climbing for the kids and is our Natural outdoor Christmas tree as it flowers during our Christmas / summer holidays.
Pohutukawa Flower

Arum Lilly

Our dependant flax plant seen everywhere , Bush ,Beach , Side of the Road and Gardens. The Maori people used it in many different  ways clothing, nets and baskets,  dried and weaved flax is very useful. The flax flower is favoured by native birds..
Flax Plant

Flax Flower
The flax is everywhere you look

Tui Bird feeding on flax flower.

Tree Fern seen  Through out NZ Bush
Tree Fern Frond

Blue Iris Flower Domestic Gardens

Banksia  Rose Climber

Red Hot Pockers

Tea Tree  Flower NZ Native Bush Plant

Tea Tree Seen through out NZ Bush

Bird of Paradise Flower

Cabbage Tree seen in the Home Garden and NZ Bush

Kauri Tree dotted here and there NZ Bush. Sadly this huge tree is struggling to survive  Hit recently by an unusual disease there is great concern for the Kauri Tree in NZ.

Nikau  Palm and Tree Fern

I hope to add more photos of plants that I see along the way to this post. Subscribe to this blog and you will get the latest as updates are made.

Young Nikau Palm  NZ Bush

Monday, 4 May 2015

Scenic West Coast Auckland Photos

Visit Auckland's West Coast For  Wild NZ Photography

The photos of my overnight stay on Auckland's west coast are some of my best scenic photos which lead me to the idea of creating a post just to share some of  them with everyone.

You do not need to be an expert photographer on the west coast just point the camera and take the photo honestly the scenery over there is totally breath taking..

Bush, Sand and Sea with stunning rock formations at every turn.

It is unbelievable that so close to Auckland you can experience such isolation and natural beauty but you can and to can spend a couple of days on the west coast easy with so many bush walks and beaches waiting to explore.
Beach, Bush and Sea On Every Turn

You may also like a previous post on my 2 night trip to the West Coast.
It is not too difficult to stay off the beaten track a little and the accommodation is very affordable. I recommend this for anyone who loves the outdoors, tramping, photography, painting or just wanting to escape and get away from it all.

Click Here To read previous post on Auckland's West Coast

West Coast NZ

Friday, 1 May 2015

Saddle Island Hauraki Gulf

A Day on Saddle Island  A little off the beaten track.

Scenic Island Hauraki Gulf NZ
Saddle Island Hauraki Gulf NZ

One of the many things I love about living in NZ and especially being in the Auckland District is being able to head out for a days fishing or better still a day to explore and picnic on one of the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

There are more than 50 islands with in the Gulf, however they are not all for public enjoyment. But you can land at Saddle Island no problem. There are signs up with a few rules to obey eg no fires etc and that is all.

No permit needed for a day trip.

Saddle Island is one of my favourite Islands as it is easy to access from our local shore line, has a lovely sandy beach, is very scenic, does not get over run with people so you can enjoy a quite day with nature and is enjoyable for swimming, walking and exploring. I also enjoy to snorkel off the rocks there.

We put the boat in at Martins Bay, Mahurangi  East and from there on a calm day it only takes 1/2 hour give or take across to the Island.

Coming Into Saddle Island

Walk Up into the Bush and across to other side. 10 mins walk

Views from Bush Looking down on other side of Saddle Island.
To access the Island you need a small boat or you can moor a large boat and use dingy to land on the Island. A public ferry service does not go to the Island. The side of the Island with the Lovely sandy beach is often sheltered. The perfect spot for a days visit.