Gibbs Farm Kaipara Harbour

If you travel north from Kaukapakapa on SH16 heading towards Wellsford, you pass some huge and unusual structures on the coastal hills that form part of Allan Gibbs’ collection of super-size sculptures. As it is on private property, you can’t just turn up when you want, but this weekend was a fundraiser for the Auckland Art Gallery so we purchased a couple of tickets. Continue reading Gibbs Farm Kaipara Harbour

Scandrett Regional Park and Brick Bay

On both Thursday and Friday I noticed that the sea down at Long Bay Beach was absolutely flat, so I thought conditions might be right for a kayak trip to Kawau Island in the weekend. We looked for the closest place to camp, and discovered that self contained vehicles can stay overnight at Scandrett Regional Park, so we drove up late Friday afternoon.
Continue reading Scandrett Regional Park and Brick Bay

Kawhia Harbour and Lake Ngaroto

On the southern side of Kawhia Harbour there are some interesting rock formations that we have been wanting to kayak to, and this weekend we thought the conditions might finally be right. Felicity needed to visit the local doctor to discuss student placements, so she arranged to meet him late on Friday afternoon. Continue reading Kawhia Harbour and Lake Ngaroto

New Chum Beach and Kirita Bay

It was Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and the weather looked good, so on Friday morning we headed down to Coromandel with our kayaks on the racks. We had hoped to stay on the edge of Whangapoua Harbour, but we weren’t the only ones to have this idea and all the freedom camping spots were taken. In the late afternoon, and desperate to get in the water for a swim, we called in at the Kuaotunu Motor Camp and found they had a site vacant.
Continue reading New Chum Beach and Kirita Bay

Kura Track and Omanawanui Track

Tomorrow (Dec 5th), the Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee will make a decision on proposals to combat the spread of kauri dieback, including possibly closing the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Mindful that it may be our last chance to visit this beautiful area, we went for a hike around the Montana Heritage Trail near Bethells Beach last weekend and yesterday explored a couple of tracks near Whatipu. Continue reading Kura Track and Omanawanui Track

Return to Florence

There is so much to see in Firenze, as the Italians call the capital city of Tuscany, that we are spending a couple more nights here before leaving Europe. Getting here from Siena wasn’t as straightforward as we had hoped, because our train unexpectedly terminated at a place called Empoli, and we had to take another 20 minute train ride to get into the city. Continue reading Return to Florence