Titirangi Storyteller

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Posts Tagged ‘Rotorua

Through the grove

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This is either the way to or away from the Hangarua Spring, which I posted a couple of days ago. These are the California Redwoods planted here about 100 years ago – and everything grows really fast in New Zealand, especially it seems, things from California.

The path was soft under our feet as we walked – like a carpet, only more magical…

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21/10/2012 at 11:17 pm

Ngongotaha on Lake Rotorua

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Ngongotaha on Lake Rotorua

This idyllic little scene was a few minutes walk from our motel in Ngongotaha (Non-ga-ta-ha – really, it’s easy once you know how!)

The lake was a bit rough, which didn’t bother the swans (they are tiny, but just to the left of the yellow buoy) or the trout, which were swimming madly, much to the delight of the local fisherpersons… I want this little boat though – just a little something to go toodling out for an afternoon’s pleasure… Or – I’ll just be content with this photo…

And for those planning a visit to New Zealand – yes, Rotorua is a must-see destination, but by staying in a place like Ngongotaha, you can really enjoy the beauty of the area and spend half or less than you would in town. We were only 15 minutes from all the big tourist stuff if we had wanted to go there…

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20/10/2012 at 11:28 pm

Watercolour

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Hangarua Springs

This is a straight out of the camera shot of the Hangarua Spring, the headwaters of Lake Rotorua. Eerily quite in the midst of a stand of California Redwoods (I do hope the folks that planted these beauties did not cut down a stand of native Kauri to do so!), it pumps about a million gallons an hour into a stream that feeds the lake. The ripply water, the spring below, the reflections of the sky and trees above. Mesmerising.

For perspective, here is a shot from above. The water is crystalline, the definition of clear. I always want to take more and more photos of places like this, as if there was a way to really capture it and bring it home with me. I do, I guess, but it’s not in the photos…

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17/10/2012 at 11:40 pm

New Zealand Falcon

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Wingspan1

Ozzie – one of the inhabitants of the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre just outside Rotorua. This was the highlight of our weekend away, exploring the lesser known attractions of Rotorua, best known for its geothermal activity, bubbling mud and various ‘cultural’ attractions geared more to emptying your wallet than cultural exposition or real entertainment. I’d been off the place for years, but glad I was lured back  – for these incredible birds – but also a determination to find the ‘real’ Rotorua – those things that don’t cost a lot of money and don’t come with flashing signs and gobs of hype…

It’s a shame I hadn’t gone with this approach before because there is just so much to do and explore and discover without spending anything and the money spent was very well spent. Wingspan charges $25 per person, it is such great value. The bird ‘show’ is less a show than observing trainers give the birds a ‘workout’ to return them to a healthy condition to go back into the wild, but it supports the centre’s work in preserving this endangered species.

I really went nuts photographing all weekend – so I guess it will be about birds and Rotorua’s ‘hidden’ gems for the next wee while… and that’s a good thing…

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16/10/2012 at 9:01 am

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