Kerikeri & Whangarei

Phew, four blog posts and another couple to come.  Hope you are not bored yet!

Time to move on again, this time we were off to Kerikeri for a couple of nights primarily to meet up with Roy’s cousin Stuart to discuss genealogy.  We said farewell to Brian & Marj as well as Gail who were staying on at Maitai Bay and finally Reg & Rima who were returning to Auckland.

During the drive down Bernice received a text suggesting a stop for coffee on the way south.  As we were having difficulty getting consistent  communications we finally got Reg and Rima to join us at Kerikeri for morning tea.  This we did at the stopover in front of the RSA. We were joined by Jim & Judy when they arrived some little time later.  Suffice to say Reg & Rima took little persuasion to stay for the night and join us in dinner at the RSA, so their trip home was again postponed for a further day. 

It was whilst we were having a cuppa that Bernice received a phone call  asking if she remembered entering a competition a couple of weeks prior through a neck tag on a wine bottle.  Yes, she did, and yes she still had the neck tag.  Guess what?  She had won a trip for two to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne! a quick scurry and a hunt through the rubbish bin uncovered the said wine tag – phew!  So now we have to plan a trip to Oz sometime in the next year.

While dining at the RSA Roy went off to the toilet and failed to return for some time.   It transpired that he had met up with Fairfax Williams a school friend he had not seen since 1966.  They had a discussion about various people and places and agreed to keep in touch.  So now there is another reason to overnight at Kerikeri.

Roy had arranged to see Stuart after lunch the next day so having said farewell  (finally?, well at least for now) to Reg & Rima, off he went. 

The main thing discussed was the latest information Stuart had uncovered through communication with a Swiss genealogist.  Finally the origin of Cosmo Damiano Vannini, Roy’s great-grandfather, has been found.  He was born in Mendrisio, Canton Ticino, Switzerland  on the 2nd of April 1836.  At this time he was named Damiano Santino Vanini.  Also identified were his parents and his grandparents so now we are back to his grandfather Guiseppe Vanini’s birthdate of 1743. (NB A change in spelling of surname). 

Hopefully we will be able to find more details regarding the family in Mendrisio.  The information that we have at present names Damiano’s brothers and sisters and his uncles and aunties on his father’s side of the family.

After having spent time with Stuart we went to have a look at the new NZMCA parking area in Kerikeri.  They have now erected the building for registration.  It takes the form of a lighthouse which is the area’s badge.   A unique building in a very presentable, but very wet, new parking area.

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The next morning we went to the Kerikeri Farmer’s Market to stock up on fruit, vegetables and cheese and then we were off to Whangarei

On the way we passed the area where the main road had collapsed in the rain storm which we experienced when we were at Whananaki.  Repairs have ben made by creating parallel road alongside the old part of the road.  This was the reason we had to go through Dargaville on our way north.

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Finally we arrived at Whangarei and instead of staying at the town basin or at Uretiti this time we stayed at an area alongside the Hatea Bridge.  The Bridge is officially called Te Matau a Pohe – translated as ‘The fishhook of Pohe’ the Maori chief who welcomed the first English settlers to Whangarei.  Pohe  was very skilled in manufacturing fish hooks using traditional materials and styles. His hooks were so practical, many of the settlers used his hooks in preference to the standard English hooks made of steel. He was also instrumental in building bridges between the two cultures during the first years of English settlement amongst Maori. Pohe used his ranking to protect many of the first settlers from being killed.

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The bridge is raised by hydraulic rams under the bridge.  These roll back the toward the counterweights which raise the road.  The shots below showing the bridge raised to allow yachts to enter the town basin.

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This shows the cogged trackway that the counterbalances follow as they fall and raise the bridge.

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And here we are at the western end of the bridge alongside Jim & Judy.

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At night the bridge is illuminated and presents a striking sight.

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There is a walking path from the parking area that crosses the bridge goes up to the town basin and then back down to the bridge.  Along the way there are a number of boat sheds, old wharves, boats, information boards and sculptures.

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This striking sculpture of a canoe and waves is only one of many interesting pieces.

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And of course we have the mandatory bird photos

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It is always very difficult to get photos of Welcome Swallows but these two were resting in the right place at the right time.

Whilst the ducks below just sailed away.

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One Response to “Kerikeri & Whangarei”

  1. obsessivebakingdisorder Says:

    Next time you are in Kerikeri on a Saturday, there is a new market every Saturday. It is huge and very high quality produce.And it is mostly covered. It is 503 Kerikeri Road opposite the Makana ChocolTe Factory. I moved there with my bread from Taipa. Would be nice to catch up.
    I loved to read about you passing on sourdough. Great to share some ‘culture’, ha ha ha.

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