Mount Maunganui

This was only my second visit to Tauranga and the first time overnight. Whilst I was extremely tired from previous days of travel. I was determined to walk to the top of Mount Maunganui and capture this photograph. Especially given it was a sunny summers day. The Mount is 232 metres above sea level and it took me around 40 minutes to walk to the top. This view south east of the peninsula is unique and spectacular. With the town of Mount Maunganui in the foreground. On the right is Pilot Bay beach and the Tauranga Harbour. On the left is the Mount Mauganui main beach and Marine Parade Reserve. The small island is Motuotau Island with the Bay of Plenty stretching out the horizon beyond.

Gisborne from Kaiti Hill

Arriving in a new place is always exciting to me. First priority is finding a nearby lookout or hill to get something of an aerial view of a place. In Gisborne this involved a short drive up Queens Drive through the Titirangi Reserve to the top of Kaiti Hill. This was the view looking north across the Turanganui River to the central city. Gisborne is the last city in New Zealand that I hadn’t visited before. It has a population of around 38,000 and is in the east coast of the North Island. I was only in the city for about 24 hours and the weather wasn’t great for landscape photography. I do want to spend more time in this part of the country though. I’d love to drive around the coast on state highway 35.

Napier from above

The best view of central Napier is from Clyde Road. This is a very small and residential street. I would not recommend driving up to this part of Bluff Hill. It’s a short but steep walk up the hill from the city. From here we get a fantastic view of some of the iconic Art Deco architecture of Napier. In the foreground is The Country Hotel on Browning Street. A couple of blocks back is The Dome on the corner of Emerson Street and Marine Parade. This spot also shows how flat the city is. Perfect for walking or cycling along the waterfront. It also gives a lovely view south out into the Hawke Bay. This was taken on a clear evening so we can see all the way to Cape Kidnappers peninsula, about 15 kilometres south.

Te Mata Peak

Sunny landscape looking up towards three triangular peaks with grassy hills in the distance on the left.

Looking up at Te Mata Peak is nearly as dramatic as the view from the top. This was taken about half way up, past the Peak House cafe looking south. You can just make out Te Mata Peak Road off to the right. Due to the camera angle the actual peak is on the left of the three tallest looking parts of the mountain. The other two are lower but from this low angle look higher. The Te Mata hillscape has a legendary story. Many centuries ago the people living in pa (fortified villages) on the Heretaunga Plains. They were under constant threat of war from the coastal tribes of Waimarama. At a gathering, a wise woman suggested that the leader of the Waimarama tribes, a giant named Te Mata, could be made to fall in love with Hinerakau, the daughter of a Pakipaki chief. Turning his thoughts from war to peace. This mission was quickly accomplished. Te Mata fell under the spell of the beautifully Hinerakau. The people of Heretaunga had not forgotten the past and wanted revenge. They demanded that Hinerakau make Te Mata prove his devotion by accomplishing impossible tasks. His last task was to bite through the hills between the coast and the plains. So that people could come and go with greater ease. Te Mata died while eating his way through the hills. His half-accomplished work can be seen in what is known as The Gap or Pari Karangaranga (echoing cliffs) and his prostrate body forms Te Mata Peak.