Monday, December 7, 2009

My Corner of the World

A good blogging friend Marguerite is having an awesome giveaway on her blog in celebration of 100 posts. Instead of the usual do a post about my giveaway and get another entry she has asked us to give a photographic tour of where we live. She has done a post of her town of Ramsgate and you can find other tours here. So I would like to welcome you all to my town of Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. The whole of the Coromandel Peninsula is a stunning place to live and has numerous picturesque beaches that are popular holiday destinations especially over the summer months. Whangamata has a permanent population of approximately 4000 which more than doubles over Christmas/New year holidays.

This is our main street looking northwards. It had a face lift about 3 years ago where they put in all new gardens and lights. You can see a Pohutakawa tree to the left of this photo with the red flowers. These native trees are known as the "New Zealand Christmas tree" because of when they come into flower. There are beautiful old Pohutakawa trees lining all the beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula Coast line and they are all starting to flower now.

These "Surfing Santas" are our very unique Christmas decorations on the street lights.

And this is our main street on the Saturday of Beach Hop! This is an annual festival that celebrates the 50's and 60's era with hot rods, classic cars, music etc... You can read more about this festival here.

The main beach in front of the surf club. Our beach is 4 kms long and during summer months is patrolled at various points not just outside the clubhouse. We usually visit the beach much further along. You can just see in the photo that the beach curves around to the left and continues on.

There are many small islands off the eastern side of the Coromandel. The larger one in the above photo is called Clark Island and at low tide you can walk out to it and spend a couple of hours exploring it and the rock pools on this side of it. You have to be careful not to be caught out there at high tide though!

This is the northern end of the beach and at the far end of this photo is the well known (among surfers) Whangamata Bar where the best surf breaks can be caught.

This is our wharf where fishing boats can off load the days catch and is a popular fishing spot for children too. You can just see my youngest daughter Caitlin to the right of the photo.

Looking up the harbour northwards where a few boats are moored.

And looking south-east towards the Whangamata Bar and Clark Island.

The southern end of the beach with the estuary ( a popular place to take younger children swimming) and in the distance is Mayor Island.

This morning I rode my mountain bike up one of the many forestry roads. This is looking down and out to our new marina and the causeway bridge that takes you north out of town. Our marina is brand spanking new and was officially opened last weekend by our Prime Minister John Key. We weren't there for the opening as I was participating in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge of 160 kms ( an easy challenge after doing 200kms a month ago).

Looking south toward Waihi where my parents live. Waihi is an old gold mining town about 30 kms drive on a very windy road. We are lucky to have so many forestry roads and single tracks for mountain biking right on our doorstep. Plus there are many great tracks through native bush that lead up to waterfalls or old mining relics.

A couple of panoramic photos taken from the hills behind the town. Its hard to believe that there was just sand where all those houses are today. The forestry was closer to the beach than it is today too.

One last photo just to show you our home. It is the A-framed house with a white house to the right of it. The sub-division where our house was built was named after the developers daughter, Beverly Williamson and was known as "Beverly Hills". Hope you enjoyed my home town tour ! Thanks Marguerite for this great idea. It is easy to take for granted what is on our own doorsteps.


Kelly said...

Thanks for the tour! You live in a very very beautiful place! I must say, I now want to go on holidays there lol!!

Lara said...

Oh it's been too long since I was in Whangamata! Think we may need to have a roady North next year! Thanks for the wonderful tour!

bearpaw said...

Wow! Stunning area, beautiful beaches and sunshine! I know which hill I would rather have been walking up yesterday! Love the Surfing Santas too!!

Needled Mom said...

It was so interesting to see the beautiful photos of where you live. This was a great idea.

Rafael's Mum said...

Hey, I left you a lengthy comment yesterday... where is it??? Mmmmmm.... maybe I did something wrong like not putting in the security code or something... I was rather tired.....

I was saying thank you so much for your fabulous post! You have gone through great lengths to show us the wonderful place you live and I really appreciate it ! Especially cycling all the way up that hill again to show us the fantastic views!

Love the beach hop and the surfing santa's too! Extra entries have been added to the giveaway!

Lauranie said...

What a beautiful place to live!! I just did my own "where I live" post for Marguerite!! :D What a small bloggy world!!

Susan said...

Oh, it's so nice to get a look at places I'll probably never see in person and to know what it's like where my friends live, thanks, Catherine! You certainly live in a fabulous, picturesque place. Thanks for the look-see!

You show ocean and beaches and I see great whites..... it's a phobia I have... am I paranoid or just cautious?

Lis said...

I didn't win but I have just had a great time looking at your photos - I love Whangamata.

Deborah said...

What a beautiful place! I really enjoyed your photos.

Leslie said...

your little corner of the world gives me wanderlust. i would love to go to NZ someday. what beautiful scenery and the beach...amazing

Monika said...

I had to check out where you lived as we went through your beautiful part of the world nearly 10 years ago on our honeymoon.

By coincidence, I replied to your blog about the car and then realised that Lake Taupo is where we saw a 4 door Chev Impala for sale. We own a 2 door one in the same colour. We would have bought it if we didn't have to try and ship it across to Oz!!

Anyway, you certainly live in a beautiful place!!

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