Autumn Surf – Easter in the Bay of Plenty

I drove down to Papamoa at Easter to stay with my father, and while it’s always nice to visit him, this will be a particularly memorable wee road-trip; the surf was excellent!

On any given afternoon there will be an onshore wind blowing into the Bay of Plenty – flattening any swell and turning the surf into a messy chop – not this weekend though; it blew offshore the entire time.

An offshore-wind blows off the land and toward the coast, it will hold-up a swell and keep the waves clean, if it continues into the evening you wake up to surf in the morning.

With bright, cool, Autumn mornings filled with the sound of crashing surf, the evenings thick with salt spray, surfing days – let alone weekends like this – are a rare thing.

Tahuna Bowling Club at 5.00pm 6.4.12

Tahuna Bowling Club 5.00pm 6.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Waikato from Kaimai lookout photographed at 6.20pm Easter April 6th

Waikato from Kaimai summit 6.22pm 6.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Waikato Kaimai lookout sun set

Waikato from Kaimai summit 6.32pm 6.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 7.50am 7.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 8.00am 7.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 8.08am 7.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Mount Maunganui from Papamoa Beach 5:48pm 8.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 5:51pm 8.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 5.57pm 8.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa Beach 5:56pm 8.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Mount Maunganui 6.36pm 8.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Papamoa 8.45am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 9.55am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.15am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.18am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.40am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.51am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.52am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.55am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Tay Street Mount Maunganui 10.58am 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Matamata War Memorial at 12.30pm 9.4.12

Matamata War Memorial 12.30pm 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Morrinsville Methodist Church 1.18pm 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Morrinsville Mori Sushi 1.27pm 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Morrinsville Nottingham Castle 1.32pm 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

Morrinsville 2.15pm 9.4.12
Photo: InkEatsMan

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Signs of Life | Taranaki January 2012

Jo and I recently spent a week in New Plymouth, her home town. Off the main-trunk highway – you don’t pass through it when traveling one end of the island to the other, and being too distant to take in as a detour – it’s a special trip.

An island unto itself, the city of New Plymouth and the provincial towns of Taranaki are staunchly local, with a uniquely noticeable style of their own, a self-reliant and inventive bunch; visibly displayed at Puke Ariki museum, the Govett Brewster art gallery, local libraries, gardens, by artists (Len Lye, Michael Smither, Fiona Clark), bands (Nocturnal Projections, Sticky Filth) and writers (Elizabeth Smither, John Brodie, Ronald Hugh Morrieson), to mention just a handful of the more well-known.

The Taranaki bight has some of the best surf in the country. Jo’s grandfather, Leo Penwarden, farmed at Omata – in earlier days the farm rolled down the coast to Back Beach – beneath the sentinel Paritutu Rock (Tapuae Marine Reserve) and the offshore Sugar Loaf Islands (Nga Motu Marine Reserve).

Back Beach 1 Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach 2 Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach 3 Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

Back Beach Pic: inkeatsman

The Penwarden family from Cornwall – Thomas, his wife and eight children – arrived in New Plymouth April 15th, 1857, on the CASHMERE,  sailing from Plymouth on December 19th the previous year; after 116 days at sea the family were landed at New Plymouth with 15 fellow immigrants. As pioneer farmers the Penwarden’s were one the many early exporters of butter from Taranaki, the Penwarden butter was branded ‘Sugar Loaf.’

Sugar Loaf Brand Butter Pic: inkeatsman

Paritutu Rock & Sugar Loaf Islands Pic: inkeatsman

Taranaki Producers Freezing Works Coy. Ltd. – Produce Store Pic: inkeatsman

Taranaki Producers Freezing Works Coy. Ltd. – Butter Store Pic: inkeatsman

Former Rahotu Diary Factory, Rahotu Pic: inkeatsman

Former Eaves General Store, Otakeho Pic: inkeatsman

Dairy farmland & Mount Taranaki Pic: inkeatsman

Former Royal Hotel, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Church of St Mary, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

RSA, Hawera Pic: inkeatsman

St Andrew’s Hall, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Opunake Pic: inkeatsman

Opunake Pic: inkeatsman

Opunake Pic: inkeatsman

Ohawe Pic: inkeatsman

Mokau Butchery Pic: inkeatsman

Mokau River Pic: inkeatsman

Shop window, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Shop window, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Powderham Street, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Clock Tower & White Hart Hotel, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Len Lye’s Wind Wand, 45 metres of flexible fibreglass, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Shop window, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Pulekura Park, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Sugar Loaf Islands, coastal walkway, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Shop window, New Plymouth Pic: inkeatsman

Pic: inkeatsman