Posted by: jimndianne | April 27, 2010

On Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand.

Hi folks!  Almost three months have elapsed since the two adventurers arrived in New Zealand. During that period we have alternated betw188een staying in an animal-friendly motel and bunking down in Devonport, in order to enjoy the company of our gorgeous younger daughter and her good-looking spouse!  We must wait a little before we can catch up with daughter No. 1, who mostly resides in London. A family illness also necessitated a five-day visit to relatives down near Wellington where we all took daily hour-long walks along the banks of a pleasant, nearby river. It was so nice to be back in our home country once more and noting the scenery was more spectacular than we both remembered.

In early February we flew to Australia in order to have a sort-out of our possessions which are in a storage facility on the Gold Coast. A professional re-pack of it all was  necessary in order for it to be covered by insurance during its shipment overseas. We were fortunate in that while there, we were able to re-visit good friends on the Coast, involving some enjoyable dinners at local restaurants.  When a few sets of tennis at our local club was suggested, along with a South Pacific-themed meal on another evening, we happily participated and the wine ran freely! Thanks to Carolyn performing on her electronic piano, the group hummed and sang their way through some songs of old. Sadly, we said farewell to our many friends at the club but we know we’ll always see them again on our next visit.

Upon returning to Auckland two weeks later we 041were asked by friends if we’d house-sit for them for four weeks while they holidayed overseas and of course, being as free as birds, we hastily agreed! Their delightful home is on Waiheke Island, which lies in the Hauraki Gulf, some 50 minutes by swift ferry from Auckland city. Around 6,000 people reside here, many taking the ferry daily into Auckland City to work.

So now here we are, with the weather intermittently warm and sunny or blowing a gale and quite cool. while we take a long walk with our dog down the road to the beach.

Onetangi Beach is just stunning, almost two kilometers of soft, white sand so by the 195time we have walked it one way, walked back along  it and then retraced our steps up the hill to the house we are somewhat tired, to say the least. Here is a photo of the beach taken from a hillside point – just lovely!

Recently the annual Onetangi Beach Races were held here and it was estimated there were around 5,000 people in attendance on  the day. It is quite an unusual event, there being tractor races, horse races, horse & sulky races, running races, wheelbarrow races and even a waiters’ race, all held on

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the beach. There are also ‘Sealegs’ races, a boat with wheels which can drive into the sea, retract its wheels while on the water, round two buoys then return to the beach with wheels down in order to race along the sand to the finish line! 182

Stalls are set up providing great eats like  grilled prawn skewers and sausage sizzles, among other tasty items. Being a ‘day at the races’ the public are invited to compete in the Mad Hatters and Fashions in the Field event, where mainly the female breed each try to outdo the other competitors by wearing the most unusual outfits!

We continue to revel in the tranquility of this delightful island, while at the same time checking out the possibility of purchasing a small cottage which we could use as a base during visits back to New Zealand in the future. More on this in the next post!

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Responses

  1. Good to read about your extended stay in New Zealand. Where are you now? Have you reached your final destination as originally planned? Equador? We have just returned after spending two months abroad travelling in Europe and Japan. Off again in August to the States for another Month or so. Both John and I have the travel bug I guess like you both have. Trust you are both well and happy. I would love to hear from you via email when you have the time. Love Pamela and John.

  2. Hello Di & Jim.

    Whenever I look at my bright green trailer (which is every day) I think of you both down there in NZ – or where ever it is you call home now.

    The Wednesday tennis girls keep asking if anyone has heard from D & J lately.

    We would dearly love to hear all of your news & what you & the family have been up to.

    D & I have just bought a new 24′ “Pacific” alloy powered by a 200Hp Merc Optimax. She’s a beauty with plenty of room for ‘guests’. Hint, hint 😉

    Write soon. We miss you 😦 🙂

    Love always

    Cheryl, David, Megan Anne, Zena & Juno — and — your Wednesday Tennis pals xoxoxox


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