Saturday, April 30, 2011

Waiheke Island

A little while back, Shannon and I spend a picture perfect Saturday on Waiheke Island with our friend Chris, who was on a temporary placement here as part of the Airbus Graduate Scheme. His sweet assignment (and subsequent holiday) aside, it was a really lovely day.

Waiheke is one of the places that is billed as a top tourist attraction in the greater Auckland area. There are lovely beaches, wineries, olive plantations, and interesting little towns to explore once you take the 40 minute or so ferry ride across (which is lovely itself).

We took the bus out to Onetangi beach and had a bit of a look around. It's the far end of the bus line, and really quiet.




We wanted to check out another bay, but due to a little confusion about the busses, we wound up at Palm Beach. I think this was a lovely mistake.



Despite the huge boats parked just out in the bay, the beach was pretty quiet. We enjoyed some piping hot fish and chips, and a couple beers (brewed on the island) while soaking up the sun. Pretty epic. There was some napping, and some swimming, too. It was perfect - warm sun, brisk water, it really felt amazing.

We had a quick stop back in the main town of Oneroa before hitting the ferry back to town. Nice little place, but compared to the rest of the island, all hustle and bustle.





The ferry ride home might have been the unexpected gem of the day. We managed to depart right around sunset, and basically were heading right into it going to town.





What we figured out once we got out of the harbour was that we were going to get sunset over the Auckland skyline. I'd expect that you can pay top dollar for a sunset cruise in the harbour, and we scored it for free. Outstanding.



 



It was unbelievably windy, and hard to take low light pictures, but the idea is there. Top day, for sure.

One thing that I find really interesting about this island (and often the whole area) is how ot reminds me of so many of the Hawaiian islands. Between the vegetation, beaches, atmosphere, layout of communities, etc, it seems strangely familiar. A lot of folks here want to take holidays to Hawaii. We've certainly enjoyed ours in the past, and I hope to go back sometime, but I wonder of folks from this area would be surprised to find that there are a lot of parallels to home when they go?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Colors

I was cranky enough about my last trip to Melbourne that I almost forgot about some signs of autumn that I had captures.

It's my favorite season, for sure.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hamiltons Gap


Sometime between the trip to the Hanua Ranges and now, Shannon arrived on her trusty steed, ZK-OKM. Like, to live here. Super exciting.


So on her first full day here, we went out to the southern part of the Manukau Heads, to a place called Hamiltons Gap.  It was a mostly deserted and very lovely black sand beach, with cliffs trying to fall right into the Tasman Sea.



Now, we've seen black sand in Hawaii, and even in New Zealand, not that far from here, but this was the most unique I think we have ever seen. It was more like crude oil than sand. Very tenacious stuff! 


The cliffs really were breaking apart and coming down to form new beach. We stood and watched for quite a while what appeared to be a river of sand. I guess this is why you don't buy beachfront property...


Sunset was lovely. 





It was so good that we almost didn't notice the rainbow going on behind us.


Awesome little spot, just about 90 minutes from the house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hanua Falls

A little bit ago, I stopped by Hanua Falls after a mountain bike ride. Quite lovely, once I navigated the traffic jam.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Photo of the Day


This is without a doubt, the best part of the morning bike commute the last week of daylight saving time.