Sunday, 24 April 2016

Volcano hunting

We have decided to visit all 53 volcanoes in Auckland. Actually I suppose that should be all 53 known-so-far volcanoes. So last week we met up with some old and good friends and found the first four (Lake Pupuke, North Head, Mt Victoria, and Mt Cambria).

(all the black crosses are the volcanoes yet to go, the pins are the ones we've done - might have to make little flags that give the name (so we can identify what we've done) and don't have such a fat top so it's easier to get close ones in)

(Here's a link to the list we are using in case you are interested -

We started just around the corner from home at Lake Pupuke. It was very peaceful and had lots of Tuis, but they wouldn't sit still for a photograph, so you don't get to see those. So we wandered around, read about the two craters joining to make the lake (we visited Sylvan Park which is on the point between the two craters), and then decided that low tide was about 20 minutes away, so if we went around to Takapuna Beach now we could see if we could identify the remains of the Kauri forest. Turns out that wasn't difficult, and it was actually really cool. So we spent quite a while clambering over the rocks seeing how the trees had left behind all these rock pools.

(see - no Tuis to photograph)

We didn't really think much of the 'specially preserved with metal grate over the top' mould - it looked more like a rubbish dump. Although it was quite large.

Then we headed down to North Head where we had lunch and the kids climbed on the guns, and slid down the hill on pieces of cardboard. We also fed the birds and went through the tunnels and cave system, even played on the piano that is in one lookout point.

Lake Pupuke and Takapuna Beach are up that way further.

This is where some went down and some went up.

Looking over to Mt Victoria.

Mt Victoria came next, not quite as much climbing to be had, but still fun.

Looking back to North Head - we were just there!!

The gun at the summit.

View of the Harbour Bridge and out to the west.

There were tunnels here too, but they were gated up so we couldn't go down them.

The gun from below.

Mt Cambria is down there, with Rangitoto in the background.

Lastly we found Cambria Reserve - none of us had heard of it before so it was new to all of us.

Looking back up to Mt Victoria.

After that we decided we needed ice-cream as a reward for all our hard work :) (we didn't get the 8 scoop one, we only had 2 scoops each).

Next up tomorrow is One Tree Hill - or rather No Tree Hill, since the tree got chopped down by a protesting Maori, and has never been replaced.

You can just see it with the spire on the top to the very left of this photo - to the right is Mt Eden (cos it's the tallest), and I think inbetween is Mt Hobson and Mt Saint Johns.

Our final volcano is going to be Rangitoto - pictured here from North Head - also pictured is Browns Island, another volcano on the list.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Getting settled

Well, we are now in our own house with our own furniture again. The furniture won't all fit in, so some is being stored for later times (but we did get 21 of our 23 Billy bookcases in :)).

Our house in Austin sold nice and quickly with only a little bit of fuss, so we don't have to worry about that any more which is nice.

It's hard to see in the photos but it's built on a hill, so the driveway is slightly steep (the delivery truck kept grounding out trying to get up the driveway to deliver our furniture), and the ground level goes up a story between the front and the back of the house. So that deck on the upper level at the side (that you can't really see because it's behind the tree) comes out almost on the ground at the back.

The deck. You can see at the far end the open door from the lounge. In the middle is the windows in the stairwell (the one you can't see is almost to ground level). Then finally at the back is our bedroom, with another door out to the deck. And underneath the top of Kathryn's room.

The back garden - no grass to mow at all.

We have one neighbour on almost the same level as us, but everyone else is different, mostly below, so it feels reasonably private even though we're not that far away.

And inside:

The lounge which is open plan with the dining room. The top of the stairs are coming up on the right hand side, and the view is out to the deck.

This doorway is to the right of the stairs and leads to the master bedroom and upstairs bathroom. All the doors to the left are the hotwater/linen cupboard.

The narrow and sharply bent stairs - getting a fridge up there was a mission, especially since there was only one delivery guy so I had to help him.

At the bottom of the stairs looking in from the front door - that's Kathryn's bedroom straight ahead, and the downstairs bathroom to the left. Matthew's door is directly opposite Kathryn's (you could just see his windows through the lower part of the tree in the first photo). Kathryn's room is built into the hillside and under the deck and it's always cold. Upstairs gets sun all day and overheats.

And just for fun a couple of mushroom colonies growing in the backyard.