Tuesday, 11 May 2010

NZ North Island 1

Muriwai Beach
 Close to Auckland but a million miles away in atmosphere. A beach set on the edge of wonderful farming country, Muriwai is a west coast black sand beach, very unusual to a Sydneysider who has grown up with golden sands. Unusual but extremely beautiful - and treacherous as I think most west coast beaches are in NZ. The don't call it the 'wild west coast' for nothing.

One of the most fascinating places I visited 20 years ago on my first visit to Auckland was the Gannet Colony at Muriwai. In those 20 years, the gannets have expanded their territory from the rocky outcrop to the cliffs along the shore. I believe this is one of only two onshore gannet colonies in NZ, with about 1200 pairs of birds coming here to breed each year.

This time I was at Muriwai late in the gannets' season, and most young were out getting their own food, but some huge and apparently fully fledged chicks sat on the rock screaming for food, a parent making an unerring landing next to its own offspring to stuff fish into the gaping maw.

Two more pretty pictures of Muriwai, both taken from S&T's balcony. Not a bad view to live with.
A misty morning above and the big sunset below.
There are more - I took 2000 photos but I'll just pop in a few now and then. I feel I have two homes in New Zealand, the one in Picton and the one in Muriwai, and while the views are stunning it's the friends who take me in and care for me so lovingly that make both places feel like home.

11 comments:

  1. Great photos! Oh, how I would like to visit NZ one day. Just wished it was a little bit nearer, then I would have gone there already

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  2. Wow! that is quite a view! 2000 photos! that's as bad as me, Carol! Isn't digital fantastic?

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  3. Fabulous photos Carol, I think I could handle living with that view! I loved the west coast of NZ when I visited a few years ago, particularily on the South Island.

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  4. I don't suppose I will ever have the pleasure of visiting this most amazing corner of our globe but your blog is the next best thing! x

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  5. I've never been to this part of NZ. What a view!

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  6. Such beauty... such beauty. What I would not give to trade places for an afternoon.

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  7. One day I want to visit NZ; until then, there are you lovely photos!

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  8. Dear Carol, I have just received your beautiful book. Thank you very much.

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  9. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

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  10. Hi

    WOW what superb photos, they are wonderful. You live in such a beautiful part of the world.

    Interesting story about the Gannets too, I saw my first gannets last summer, they are amazing birds aren't they. Have you seen them dive for fish, the speed at which they hit the water is terrifying.

    Congrats on the pics, best wishes

    Billie :)

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