The topic for FSO this week is My Choice, what I'd like to show/others to know about my town.
I have a new boss at work, a newcomer to the north. My post today is for her, to help her enjoy the place she has chosen to live.
As someone who has moved into a town where you know no-one, I know the first months are difficult, getting to grips with a new job and new staff, making new friends, coming to know your way around - and it can be a bit difficult in the main shopping area with its one way streets. But there are so many pleasures ahead of you, so many lovely places waiting for you to discover them.
I know you're going to love living in Whangarei. All in all, the climate is good with typical summer temperatures ranging from 22 to 26 degrees celsius (71 - 79 Fahrenheit), but seldom exceed 30 (86 F). Winter daytime temperatures range from 12 to 17 degrees celsius (53 - 62 F), with the occasional early morning frost, although you may not have any where you are living. 2000 hours of sunshine every year. OK, it can rain a lot, the countryside wouldn't be so lush if it didn't! Around 1,500mm (59 inches) a year, although we get more where I live.
To get an overall view of the town, take a drive over the river towards the Heads and you will see a sign on your left to Mt Parakaki. At the top you will get a good view of the town.
There are so many lovely spots along the road out towards the Heads. I took this one out near the airport - go straight ahead where the road veers right to the airport.
Have you been to Reva's in the Town Basin yet? There's an award winning restaurant in town but, for me, nothing compares to sitting on the deck at Reva's, with coffee or a pizza (and their soups are marvellous) looking out at the boats from all over the world.
Adjacent to it is the Old Library where there are often art exhibitions.
Are you joining the rest of our team next week for dinner and to watch our team-mate, Terri, appear in a play at the Octogon Theatre? I was lucky when I called to take a photo to find a couple there who were happy for me to go and take a photo of the set. An old house has been remodelled to serve as a theatre. I love it when good use is found for old buildings.
There's a bit of something for everyone in Whangarei but I do hope you like beaches. The Whangarei area has 100 bays and beaches, and rarely are any of them crowded. Most of them, most of the time, are pretty well deserted. For me, it's always about the beaches.
There are wild, rocky beaches: