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Phones can take such good photos these days and they're just so convenient to use, being small they fit in a pocket or your handbag. They certainly are a lot less cumbersome than my big camera, however I do have a good camera and it seems criminal not t use it more than I do,especially when I'm getting a new wide angle lens for my birthday this week.
I'm trying to not rely on the Auto setting too much, Auto is perfectly fine when you need to take a shot quickly but as I've had some time on my hands I've been using the manual setting.
Just a few photos taken in the last week....
Swallow




Echo

Silver fern

Attempting a shot of the full moon this week
 



Monarch butterfly






Aster - I think   

Back soon

Sue
xxx
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Apologies once again for the lack of posts, our visitors left in January and since then I've been rather out of sorts. Last year was very full on, with the build up to the wedding and what followed, I think I crashed and burned when it was all over, summer has been in full swing and as much as I love the sun it's been really too hot to do too much and my enthusiasm ran low. Hopefully I'm back on track.
For this post I'll share some photos of our trip North with Liz and Pat before they went home. I'll add a link to the Facebook album if you wish to see more.
So here we go........
This was a bit of a whistle stop tour just to give Liz & Pat a taste of the North, it's such a beautiful place and should be on everyones to do list when they come to NZ.

A hearty breakfast in Warkworth




After we stopped for breakfast in Warkworth we took a detour off the main road to Marsden Point, a really pretty place with some luxury homes with access to water at the bottom of their garden! Nice  but rather contrived for me.............


 ....plus there's Marsden point oil refinery just across the bay, not sure I'd want that on my doorstep to be honest. But then I have a car so it has to go somewhere I suppose We called here because Joe has worked at the refinery in the past.


We had intended to have lunch at Whangarei but we were still full from our breakfast, we looked around anyway before carrying on




It seems strange to see a Christmas tree this far into February, Christmas seems so long ago


Each time we head up North we usually call in and stay a night with our friends Sandra and Dennis who live in a beautiful place that is called Oakura Bay. These visits normally involve walking the very short distance to the beach to either walk or have a swim, follwed by a BBQ and a game or two
There was croquet on the lawn



There was swimming




We're here again in March for Sandra and Dennis' daughters wedding, it's going to be at the end of the beach, can't wait

Great company and always good fun


Visiting Russell is an absolute must, although I much prefer it out of season.

There was a huge cruise ship, the Majestic something or other





Then it was off the the Waitangi treaty grounds  a very significant place in the  history of New Zealand but now hugely expensive so I doubt we'll do it again.






In a small town called Kawakawa there are some pretty amazing toilets, we've always managed to miss these in the past, we've either been on the road road or had no time etc. This time however I told Joe we were going to see them or there'd be trouble!
Hunterwasse toilets


If you need a pee I can think of worse places to have one!







After a quick bite to eat we drove to Hokianga harbour, just past Opononi where we stayed with Jim and Carolyn 2 years again, a truly beautiful place. We stayed at the Copthorne hotel which has the most amazing views, the accommodation was good but our dining experience was hugely disappointing, the food was good but the service was appalling. I've still got to write my review.








The next morning we drove through Waipua forest and stopped to see
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We've never been here before, I've not always been too enthusiastic about visiting, I have to say however that it is a very good museum, packed with the most immaculate classic cars I think I've ever seen, so much memorabilia and as you walk in there are so many things that may evoke long forgotten memories of your past.
Enjoy the photos




 



 























































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We've lived in NZ now for nearly 15 yrs, I've never been to Bridal veil falls which is less than 30 minutes from where we live. I've never been keen as I don't like heights, and they're high. A 55 mtr drop, the steps down to the bottom are a challenge so I doubt I'll ever get down there. The fact I stood out on one of the viewing platforms was achievement enough.














The walk back was rather nice and cool















 

See ya next time
 
Sue
xxx
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Okay so this has to be my 4th attempt at doing this post!! Lets try again!
The last time we went to Hobbiton was back in 2004, it was a little different back then, click here to see the Facebook album of the photos I took back then.
See the difference now....

 



















 Bag End - Bilbo Baggins Hobbit hole























 The Green Dragon
 Meet the new Hobbit, Bilious Ballbag!









 After possibly the hottest day of the year so far, an ice cold beer or a cider was very welcome







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We have a great zoo in Hamilton and it's always a good place to take visitors, and that's what we did yesterday.
Here is just a few of the photos I took, I always take loads, I'll put a link at the bottom if you want to see them all, great of you're suffering fro insomnia!
 Macaws
 Pygmy marmoset
 sun conure
 Cotton topped tamarin
 Capuchin monkeys
 Agouti
 Male Himalayan monal pheasant
 Female ecletus parrot
female Himalayan monal pheasant
 Love birds
 Agouti
 Red panda
 Ring tailed lemurs, some lucky people were having a close encounter with them
 

 Another fav, meerkats

 Kea
 Fantail taking a bath
 White rhino



 My absolute faves, the chimpanzees










 Siamang gibbon - we could hear these calling out as we left the zoo, they're rather loud!
 Brazilian tapir
 Sumatran tigers


 Unsure of this species
 New Zealand falcone
 Siesta time for this spider monkey
 In the "Savannah' 
Giraffes, ostrich, plains zebra, fallow deer,


 Painted hunting dog
 In the free flight aviary
Kaka

 Sacred kingfisher


 Tui
 Skink
 Green gecko
 Morepork

To see more click the link here 


Sue
xxx


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This is just a picture post of our visit to Hamilton gardens today with Liz & Pat
Click on the titles for a link to more information about each garden
I've published 2 posts today, at the bottom of this page click on 'Older posts' if you wish to see my photos of our trip to Mount Maunganui last Thursday
 






















 























 




 
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Oops I did this post on Thursday then didn't publish it, I've got another post for today of Hamilton gardens, so look out for that one too.
The further adventures of our visitors, today Mount Maunganui, another go to place. It was pretty busy today, parking was a nightmare but the weather was glorious and the holiday makers were making the most of it







 

























While the others walked around the Mount I people watched and got this photo as they emerged around the side
A panoramic view of Pilots Bay

Time to put our feet up and watch a movie now

Sue
xxx
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