Sunday, August 28, 2016

Half way up or half way down

Believe me half way down is nowhere near as far as half way up.  I think I could easily have made it to the bottom but I'd still be crawling up those steps if I had.

I don't doubt the Bridal Veil Falls would have been even more beautiful from the bottom but I'm happy to never really know.

There are three natural harbours, close together, down along the west coast of the North Island between Auckland and Taranaki.  My friend, Chris and I stayed three nights last week at Kawhia,  the most southerly of them.  We found a sleepy little coastal paradise, quiet and laid-back.  The people we met were friendly and relaxed.  It is said to have 650 residents but I think the permanent winter population would be less than half that and more than half the houses are holiday homes. 

We had taken our spades to dig a hole and have a soak in the black sand beach which oozes hot water two hours either side of low tide.  That didn't happen, we decided it was too cold.

Despite the rainy weather, we filled our days exploring the countryside and visiting the other two harbours.  Raglan, to the north is a surfing mecca, the town has a great assortment of cafes, bars, surf shops and galleries.  Quite a contrast to Aotea Harbour, the smallest of the three. 


The next four shots are around Aotea Harbour:

A little side road took us down to the tiny village of Oparau on the banks of the Oparau River, which I'm sure wouldn't look quite so dismal in less rainy weather.  There was no hint of the bustling place it once must have been with a dairy factory, flour, flax and saw mills.   The school is closed and I wonder who lives there now, if this doer upper will ever sell.

The nearby Oparau Roadhouse is also for sale and, by contrast, is a thriving business.  There's no other shop for miles around and they have a  cafe, the general store, bar with summer beer garden, petrol pumps, art gallery and, as the owner Bill delighted in telling us, a Lotto counter where a winning ticket was sold a few weeks ago. We each bought a ticket, hoping their luck is holding.  It's not!

We stopped for a photo of the hole in the rock, the old shearing shed was a bonus.


  1. We have been to Raglan a few times and I love it there. I have been to the falls, but not to the bottom--I'm not that ambitious! Thanks for the photos. We'll have to check out the other places the next time we're up that way.

  2. You have all kinds of good things to see that are close to home. Fog make things challenging.

  3. My kind of area...I could live there quite happily...very happily!

  4. While i'm not sure i could live in such a small town, i know i'd love to visit!

  5. I think every place must have a Bridal Falls as I've seen a few. I have heard of the beach with the hot springs and I would love to visit!

  6. I think every place must have a Bridal Falls as I've seen a few. I have heard of the beach with the hot springs and I would love to visit!

  7. There's an increasing number of little towns and villages which are almost ex-towns and villages as the industries on which they were based disappear. Sad.


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