Up to Whakapirau

 

Jackie and Chris have recently purchased a property at Whakapirau on the Kaipara Harbour.  So having safely moved Antony and then the following night had a very good dinner with Neil & Jodie and Antony, thank you Jodie,  we are off to stay with Chris and Jacky for a few days.

Through the tunnel and over the bridge we go

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After some time we arrive at Whakapirau Wharf where we leave the motorhome  while we investigate the driveway into the property.  Quite wondrous it is when viewed from the drivers seat, it is hard to see the edges and because you are going down hill you lose sight of the drive altogether in places.  But having explored the possibilities of leaving the motorhome offsite, we decide to attempt the driveway including the hairpin bend,  but due to the overhanging branches and narrowness of the last part of the driveway we finally park halfway in .

Settled in and had dinner a drink or two and then bed.  Next morning awoke to low fog.  This shot is taken just after daybreak looking at the wharf at Whakapirau on the left and the wharf at Pahi on the right.

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However the fog finally lifted and we were able to see all before lunch.

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The sea was so calm that we were able to see “a painted ship upon a painted ocean”  OK it was only a dinghy but so what!!

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Looking back and up one can se Jackie and Chris’ house among the bush at the op of the ridge.

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One of the reasons for not getting all the way in the drive was this large Puriri overhanging the driveway.  Those large clumps of epiphytic growth in the old dead branches of the tree are known as “widow makers”.  In the early bush felling days these would periodically drop from high up in the forest noiselessly and crush anyone unlucky enough to be below.

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They also provide a home for one of New Zealand’s major pest the Opossum.  However this one should not be  causing any more problems.

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On a leisurely walk down to the wharf and around the cliff to the main settlement of Whakapirau and beyond there were a number of sights.

At the Southern end of Whakapirau is this very large Macrocarpa tree with two swings.  These are secured at about 12 metres off the ground on branches extending over the beach.  Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to place them. 

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The shorter one of the two is held by a sizeable rope adequately secured to the tree branch, the tall one is secured to a yoke over the tree.  Jim will be happy to see the splicing that has been performed on the swing rope. The swing rope  is at least three inches in diameter and is braided for at least three feet from the loop. 

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On the foreshore of the bay there are reefs of  limestone supporting very large quantities of oysters.  On the left is a shot of an area of some ten by twenty metres and the right gives an idea of the density of oysters.

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Out from the centre of the beach is sand and mud ridges and hollows filled with water and myriads of small cockle shells these are no bigger the 1.5 cm and as they extend for some metres and are often up to a metre wide there must be millions of these empty shells on the beach foreshore.  Obviously good feeding for fish but very much undersized for human consumption.

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These shots are on the Whakapirau wharf looking toward Pahi in the left shot and back to the land in the right.

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This shot of the end of the wharf is taken from the house with a long lens.

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Below Jacky and Chris’ house there are the remains of an oyster breeding operation.  All that remains is the wooden frames which would have originally supported the containers of spat.

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Over the next few days we hope to explore more of this area around the Kaipara Harbour.

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One Response to “Up to Whakapirau”

  1. Frederick Church Says:

    Great area up there, love the foggy pics, was going to call it Foggy Bottom, but it’s Foggy Tops….
    If it wasn’t a Puriri I would suggest a nice pruning. The epiphytes do end up destroying so much of the tree!
    Have a great time up there.

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