Beach combing in New Zealand…

Another day another day trip. This time to the beach. Quite different to our Australian beaches, smaller and sort of intimate lined with the iconic Pohutukawa trees that stretch right along the east coast.

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The glorious Pohutukawa trees line the cliffs. In another month they will be flaming red and they are known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree.

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Now they defy gravity. Over the years the tides have swirled around their roots gradually eroding the rocks and dirt.

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I meet a local walking her dog and ask her if she can recommend a lunch place.

Jack took this photo. Can you see me talking to a local?

Jack took this photo. Can you see me talking to a local?

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Little Oscar waits patiently while we chat.

But before lunch there is the other end of the beach to explore.

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Going round the corner the scenery changes and large interesting looking boulders are piled high. I need Meg with me to help identify them.

This rock with character just asks to be photographed.

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Midday and time to search for the “Vintage Café” we had been told about. It was not easy to find, in fact we drove right by. But looking for the Shell Service Station (Why do they still call them service station?) we spotted it. A small lean-to on the end of the garage.

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It was every bit as delicious as we had been told with a charming old world décor, home-made food, friendly service and delicious coffee. We sketched while we waited for the food to be cooked (I ordered an omelette, Jack had a meat pie) In no time our lunch arrived and I only got the drawing half-finished.

Time to slowly drive home.

I had to stop and photograph this dedication a local farmer had erected to the National All Black heroes.

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Rugby football fever had taken hold of New Zealand, every where the black flag with silver fern fluttered on houses, next to fences, on cars, on hats. The country was swathed in black, even the milk came in black bottles and the Weetbix breakfast cereal box was black with a fearsome image of the All Black team doing the Maori Haka. The All Blacks had reached the finals for the unprecedented second time in a row and they faced Australia for the show down.

The game was broadcast live at 5am Sunday morning New Zealand time and I sat in bed watching the drama unfold. What a game, I was torn between my 2 favourite countries. Who would I cheer for?

I think most of New Zealand watched the match and next day, in fact the next week, jubilation and pride of their team was palpable. No wonder they won with just about the whole country on the team…

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We carried on home. The scenery in this area is pastoral, almost English, with its neat hedges and rolling grass-covered hills.

A field of rape glows in the sun.

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The hedgerows are clustered with wild flowers, again reminiscent of the English countryside of my youth.

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The New Zealand cabbage trees are flowering very well this year and I’ve been told this is a sign of a dry summer to come.

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As we arrive home the donkey from the next door neighbours farm comes over to say “hello”

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Categories: Clarke's Beach, New Zealand, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Beach combing in New Zealand…

  1. I love your photos of the roots of the Pohutukawa trees, and the rape seed and the New Zealand cabbage trees. I’ve never seen any of these before! That little donkey is sure friendly! 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Transition: Q/A wLes Mis | In the Zone

    • Thanks for the honour of sharing your award with me Yvette but as I am on the road at the moment I will have to pass on it as it hard to find the time to just keep my blogging head above the water, and keep up with blogs I enjoy reading too

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  3. Just really great photos, great places to see! I have spent very little time in NZ. You’ve made me want to spend time there!! Love the sketch…

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  4. Please don’t depend on my geological knowledge: I’m fumbling. But thanks for the link and for showing all these NZ enticements.

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  5. Your photos are wonderful! Those gnarled trees are so impressive in the way they’ve adapted to their environment.

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  6. Thanks for the post. I must add a trip to NZ to my 2016 to do list, now that we have explored Tassie. I had six months there thirty years ago and loved it. Happy memories 🙂

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  7. That is a beautiful piece of the world, especially since it looks all so warm and sunny while it is drizzling, cold and grey in my part of the world. The rolling hills are especially beautiful.

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    • Thank you for visiting my blog I appreciate the comments you have left. I lived in NZ for 40 years and loved my time there. I’m lucky to have my family still over there to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Magnificent scenery. And so green. 🙂
    It must be an experience to be in NZ during a major rugby event – it’s a religion to them. One might not want to admit they are an Australian. 🙂

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  9. I loved going through this post, Pauline. From those amazing trees on the rocks at the beach to that quaint cafe and your beautiful sketching to that cute donkey! It would have been amazing being in NZ for the Rugby – they are an awesome team (although I would have loved the Aussies to win) 😉

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    • It is a beautiful country Dianne. The Aussies were definitely the under dogs but they played a strong game and at one point for about 15 minutes, after half time, they came out fired up and they had the AB’s and all of NZ worried

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  10. I enjoyed everything about this post, memories of those gorgeous Pohutukawa trees, your darling sketch, that beautiful softly focused photo of the daisies and the cute donkey. Hope you don’t fry this weekend PP. It was very hot at this time last year in Sydney!

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  11. Isn’t it amazing how those trees appear to be surviving on nothing? What beautiful countryside, I think I’d like New Zealand!

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  12. We still call them ‘service stations’ in South Africa. 🙂 Loved finding faces in those rock formations. Little Oscar and the donkey are such a couple of sweeties. 🙂

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  13. poppytump

    Pauline ! it’s a good job I can see some blue sky outside my windows here – however temporary – otherwise I’d be even more envious of these scenes in your gallery 😉
    Those trees are fabulous .. all rooty with clasping sinewy shapes .. I’ve just been looking at Anna’s latest post https://annawarren.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/blot-drawing-work-in-progress/ and see in tree picture 3 some similar fantastical elements .
    Lovely post , I liked your sketch Pauline .. complete with squishiness of cushion … and Hot line retro phone !

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    • Pleased to hear you have some sunshine Poppy we are in a heatwave, very early for 30C+ temps so could be in for a hot, hot summer. Thanks for the link to Anna I’ve just been for a look, what incredible detailed drawings and what an imagination she has.

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  14. What a great trip, stunning scenery, and the Vintage Cafe looks a good find! Will you complete the sketch?

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  15. What a glorious trip you’ve treated us to! Lovely. And Oscar is so sweet.

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