Adventure Birds Lakes Landscapes Rivers Weather Whanganui

August 24, 2018 … nice to be home again

Mary and I spent a few days at the tiny settlement of Mowhanau (also known as Kai Iwi Beach) just North of Whanganui. It was a delightful break, though the lack of promised wi-fi caused me some withdrawal symptoms. Anyway, here we go.

Whitebaiters in the Mowhanau stream at Kai Iwi beach

Despite a somewhat gloomy forecast we drove up SH1 to Bulls and then SH3 to Whanganui, and through some back roads to Mowhanau. As soon as we unloaded the car, we walked the few minutes down to the beach where the whitebait season had just opened. There are blue skies in the image but believe me when I say there was a nasty bleak wind and the thermometer was reading 8°C. These guys were standing in water of varying depth for hours and getting meagre rewards in terms of the whitebait harvest. It seems the whitebait are critically endangered and near to extinction so time to re-evaluate.

Looking Northward along the Whanganui River near Pungarehu

The next day was surprisingly fine and we set out to travel the road beside the Whanganui River to Hiruharama (Jerusalem). This view is from the ridge soon after leaving the main road at Upokongaro. The road traverses some wild and beautiful country, but after some recent floods is in a very mixed state of repair.  Mary wanted to walk and enjoyed about 12 km leading up to the little settlement of Atene (Athens) while I played with landscape shots. When we reconnected we drove on through the even smaller settlements of Koroniti (Corinth)  and Matahiwi. We navigated the slippery grey mud of the road works and arrived at Hiruharama where we had a look at the historic church of St Joseph. From there it was on to Pipiriki where we enjoyed lunch by the river with no sound but singing birds and the fast flowing river.

Waverley Beach
Waverley Beach blocked off by driftwood

The next day was grey and a bit dull, but we drove up to Waverley to visit my brother and sister-in-law, and from there went down to Waverley Beach. When I first went there, some fifty years ago, this was a popular swimming beach with a well-known sandstone arch at the mouth of the river. The arch collapsed long ago (2012), and the beach is currently clogged with thousands of tonnes of driftwood.

Patea River
Patea River near Hurleyville

On day three, we explored the road to the Patea hydro scheme, some forty km by road from Patea through some of the wildest and loneliest countryside in the North Island. Like most of these West Coast North Island rivers, the water is brown with silt and often carries big logs out to sea. Lake Rotorangi, was formed by the dam completed in 1984 and meanders Northward for some 46 km towards Eltham. It is a magnificent land.

Terns and Piles in the Patea River

We came back to Patea for lunch, eating our sandwiches down by the river mouth. A set of piles near the Mole provided a resting place and launch-pad for a group of white-fronted terns.

Petone Beach
Southerly drama at Petone

Home once more, and yesterday was interesting in the morning. The harbour was calm at Petone beach, but the clouds in the South suggested a change was on its way.

Petone wharf and the incoming front

Looking for a different viewpoint I moved to the West and the clouds became more intense.

Cloudburst leads the way

From there I went up Ngauranga Gorge to Newlands and as I reached a new subdivision, the front was moving up the harbour dropping an intense burst of rain on the way.

It’s always nice to go away, but even better to come home.


By wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures.

This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.

2 replies on “August 24, 2018 … nice to be home again”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s