Monday, October 10, 2011


Yesterday I re-affirmed to myself how easily I am pleased.  Thanks, Chris, for letting me know that the Refinery at Ruakaka was having an Open Day and for inviting me along.  And thank you, New Zealand Refining Co., for sharing your 50th anniversary celebrations with the community.  Over the years, every time I take a visitor to the Refinery Visitors Centre (which I love to do) I've wished I could see around the site, to see up close the stacks, the hydro-crackers, cooling towers, crude distillers, desulphurisation units and especially the hydro-crackers.  I've become accustomed to seeing the refinery from this angle.

 For me, it was like a dream come true to see it close up.  To be there, looking up at the hydro-crackers.  Admittedly, in one of many buses touring the site - but I was there!

I just wanted to be constantly looking up:
and up:

I was enthralled with all those shapes, ladders and stairs!  And all against a clear, blue sky!  Couldn't have been better.

Our tour guide explained everything in simple, understandable terms but muggins me was too busy just soaking it all in to listen.

The tour was the highlight of the day for me but there was fun for everyone.  A terrific day out for families.  There was all the fun of a fair.

I wonder how long it will be before this little boy forgets about Doug the Digger?  He was a picture of concentration!

Chris' niece, Lucy, was working in the cafe.  Imagine looking out and seeing this queue in front of you!    But she and the others who were giving up their Sunday to feed the thousands of visitors, kept the smiles coming.

(Bet you slept well last night, Lucy!)

Oh, and here's another queue beside where we lined up for the bus tour.  This one gave me a real smile:


  1. Thanks for sharing these stunning pictures. They benefit from the angle. A good job you haven't a wider lens.

  2. that last shot made me smile too. i like the looking UP shots and the big container with the steps winding around it. a fun day

  3. Hello Pauline,

    Thanks for sharing your day out, those blue skies are lovely and especially for sharing a photo of our Lucy.
    happy days.

  4. It looks like you had a great time. There is a factory - I think it's a chemical plant - that I used to pass in the car when taking my Mum and Dad out for the day. I loved the gleaming steel tanks and 'things' and would have loved to have had a chance to tour the site and take photos. (I bet around here they'd try to confiscate your camera if they saw you taking a photo from the car, nowadays! Security is a great excuse for a spoilsport regime!)

  5. That last shot made me smile!
    A refinery that hosts the community to an Open House - that would be rare here. A refinery that would let one take photos - unthinkable! It sounds like you had a great day and the refinery engaged in some positive PR that will last a long time.

  6. I like those shots from below looking up... The 'complicated' one with all the pipes and tanks reminds me of when I worked (as secretary) for a consulting-firm which made construction drawings for machinery of similar kind (mostly pulp and paper industry). Sometimes I got nervous that if I chose the wrong preposition or something in a translation I might be responsible for a whole complicated construction falling apart... ;)

  7. Looks like everyone could find something fun there!

  8. Hello Pauline, YES this kink of day is the best. I would love to see a refinery up close and here, everytime I pass over the Niterio-Rio bridge I think, would love to see an oil derrick / platform. They pull them into the bay and into the shipyards for repair / refitting - would love to go on and take photos. Your's looks so clean - they must have painted and spruced up for their celebration.
    have a great day.

  9. Interesting, I would never have thought to tour a refinery. Loved the kids in the bubbles on the water...looks like fun.

  10. I'm smiling at that last photo as well...since I have one that looks much like it (a line-up of strollers at Disneyland).

  11. As one of those who has had the pleasure of a visit to the refinery with you I too would have loved that opportunity for a full tour.

    Love the last photo too!


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