Virtual Trip Napier, North Island, New Zealand.

Early Māori History

A large fortified settlement or pā on the hills at the southern edge of what is now Taradale was home to about 3,000 Māori people. Tahe pā was on an excellent defensive site beside the Tutaekuri River with easy access to the Pacific Ocean by canoe.

1931 earthquake

The Hawke’s Bay earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale only lasted two-and-a-half minutes, but it became infamous as the deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand, claiming at least 250 lives and thousands were injured. All but a few of Napier’s buildings were completely destroyed by the earthquake and the fires that followed.

Napier came back from the earthquake with a clean slate and fresh land to build on. One hundred and eleven new buildings were constructed in the downtown area between 1931 and 1933. The vast majority took their cues from Art Deco, the era’s cutting-edge architectural trend. The style is known for its linear structure and touches of intricate ornamentation in the form of geometric motifs like chevrons and zigzags. It was also relatively inexpensive thanks to its basic, boxy designs—a bonus considering that the earthquake struck during the middle of the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in history.

Napier 2011
Napier 2011
Napier 2011
Comparison map of the extent of Ahuriri Lagoon before(left) and after(right) the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.

The Joys of Quarantine a Virtual Trip….

New Zealand the Land of the Long White Cloud

Also known as Aotearoa the Maori name for the New Zealand, the literal translation is “land of the long white cloud”. New Zealand has been inhabited by Maori since approximately 1300 AD originally only a reference to the North Island but, since the late 19th century, the word has come to refer to the country as a whole.

Māori oral traditions, which describe the arrival of ancestors in a number of large ocean-going canoes (waka) in around 1350. There may have been some exploration and settlement before the eruption of Mount Tarawera a volcano 24k southeast of Rotorua in about 1315, based on finds of bones from Polynesian rats and rat-gnawed shells, and evidence of widespread forest fires in the decade or so earlier; but the most recent evidence points to the main settlement occurring as a planned mass migration somewhere between 1320 and 1350. The Māori originated from settlers who migrated to New Zealand from eastern Polynesia. Polynesian people settled a large area encompassing Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) – and finally New Zealand.


Geothermal mud pool.

The volcanic region of Rotorua and Taupō is famous for its mud pools that bubble like porridge, geysers spurting steam, and cascading terraces, which form as minerals from the hot springs rain on to the rocks. Whakarewarewa has 500 hot springs and seven geysers. New Zealand’s largest geyser is Pōhutu, reaching 20 metres or more.

Bubbling mud.
St Faith’s Church, the graves are raised due to the thermal nature of the area.
The national Māori flag.

The design represents the balance of natural forces with each other. To live life is to live with nature. To appreciate life is to understand nature.

Black – represents Te Korekore, the realm of Potential Being. It represents the long darkness from whence the world emerged. It represents the heavens. The male element is formless, floating and q.

White – represents Te Ao Marama, the realm of Being and Light. It is the Physical World. White also symbolises purity, harmony, enlightenment, and balance.

Koru – the curling frond shape, the Koru, represents the unfolding of new life. It represents rebirth and continuity, and offers the promise of renewal and hope for the future.

Red – represents Te Whei Ao, the realm of Coming into Being. It symbolises the female element. It also represents active, flashing, southern, falling, emergence, forest, land and gestation. Red is Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, the sustainer of all living things. Red is the colour of earth from which the first human was made.

Back to Perth and Sydney

We set of from Margaret River with mild trepidation not knowing if we would be able to fly back to Sydney.

Leaving Margaret River
Margaret River is an up and coming Wine producing area.

Margaret River’s wine history began in the 1830s when the Bussell family planted their first vines to make wine for home. However, the region didn’t really take flight until two research scientists landed here in the 1950s, almost 100 years later.

The Angry Bird parked in the shade whilst we ate our lunch on a bench in Rockingham
Our last night in WA
Cute little pool at the Sanno Marracoonda
Virgin Australia Flight VA556 Wednesday 25th March
One of the last planes out of Perth due to the covid19 virus restrictions.
Approx 2050miles / 3295 km and four hours flying time.
Flight barely half full.
Outskirts of Perth
Evidence of open-pit mineral mining east of Perth
Israelites Bay on the Great Australian Bight.

The Great Australian Bight is a large open bay off the central and western parts of the southern coastline of mainland Australia. The Bight’s boundaries are from Cape Pasley, Western Australia, to Cape Carnot, South Australia. This is a distance of 1,160 km or 720 miles. The much more accepted name in Australia for the connected waterbody is the Southern Ocean rather than the Indian Ocean. The settlements along the coastline with access to the Bight and facilities are Ceduna and Eucla. Some other locations on the Eyre Highway or on the Nullarbor do not have facilities or easy access.

These look like dried up salt beds. Any body know what they are?
Back on the East Coast
In the rain!
Sydney Harbour upper reaches, could it be Lane Cove?

Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin

Looking out over Geographe Bay, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse has the appearance of a quaint, watchful stone sentinel. Constructed from local limestone, the picturesque lighthouse offers vistas of the ocean, the coastline’s charming beaches, and the walking trails that snake around the promontory on which the building sits. At its highest point, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is 123 m (404 ft) above sea level.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was the last manned lighthouse on mainland Australia and is one of the few operational lighthouses the public can access.

The lighthouse stands on a 100m high bluff overlooking Geographe Bay and affords breathtaking views across the Indian Ocean and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. From the balcony, whales and their young can be spotted playing in the waters below during their annual migration, from September to December.

Three keepers and their families originally lived and worked at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the three original lightkeepers’ quarters are still standing. Life revolved around night watches which were divided into three periods, one for each man. During each watch the keeper had to wind the mechanism and then pump paraffin to the burner.

Life was hard for lightkeepers and their families. With no paid annual leave or travel assistance, lightkeepers remained at their isolated stations for many years. Once a fortnight stores and supplies were delivered from Busselton, including classwork for the children who were home schooled. The light was converted to automatic operation in July 1978 and the last lighthouse keeper, Max Nethery, left in 1996.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

The Cape to Cape Bush Walk Track runs for 123 kilometres along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the far south west of Western Australia. It features spectacular coastal and forest scenery, a fascinating geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers.

Road works
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
3398 miles to the South Pole
The very fast moving female Fairy Wren

There are five oceans on earth, and all of them are connected with each other to form a continuous body of water. Historically, there were only four oceans, namely Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic. In the year 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization decided to carve out a new ocean surrounding the least populated continent at the bottom of the earth—Antarctica—based on the evidence that this water body has a distinct ecosystem and a unique impact on global climate. The Antarctic Ocean, also called the Southern Ocean, became the fifth ocean on earth and the fourth largest of the world’s five oceans, larger than the Arctic Ocean.

I only have the Arctic Ocean to paddle in to collect the set.
We couldn’t see the join.
The Water wheel
On the rocks.

Bussleton and the Jetty

Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty (pier) in the southern hemisphere at 1,841 metres (over a mile) long. The Jetty is managed by a not-for-profit community organisation, Busselton Jetty Inc.

The jetty’s construction commenced in 1864 and the first section was opened in 1865. The jetty was extended numerous times until the 1960s, ultimately reaching a length of 1,841 metres (6,040 ft). The last commercial vessel called at the jetty in 1971 and the jetty was closed the following year. It passed into the control of Busselton Shire and has been gradually restored and improved since. The jetty has survived Cyclone Alby in 1978, borers, weathering, several fires, and the threat of demolition, to have become a major regional tourist attraction.

The jetty features a rail line along its length, a relic of the railway line into Busselton from Bunbury. The line now carries tourists along the jetty to an underwater observatory, one of only six natural aquariums in the world, which opened to the public in 2003.

Little pied cormorant.
The train usually runs along the Jetty hourly, but we just heard that it is now suspended until the crisis of covid19 passes. We opted to walk.
Us at the very end! shows a video of the Jetty by Andrew Mozdzen

Despite the number of people, we enjoyed the long walk. There was a section with plaques in memory of local people who had died and been involved in some way with the jetty or considered the jetty a favorite place. There were interesting informational signs and several unique weather vanes along the way.

Diagram of the observatory.
Library Photo


Cowaramup is roughly central to the Margaret River wine region. It is the closest townsite to a number of wineries and other speciality producers including Vasse Felix, Howard Park and Madfish Winery, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, and The Margaret River Dairy Company. The town is close to Cowaramup Bay, a popular swimming and surfing beach. The Cowaramup Bombora (also known as Cowie Bombie or simply Cow Bombie) is a big wave open-ocean surf break found on the south-west coast of Western Australia. It is located 2 kilometres offshore west of Gracetown which is near the town of Margaret River, world-renowned for its surf, and is 265 km south of the capital city Perth.

The name is believed to be derived from the Noongar word cowara, meaning purple-crowned lorikeet. Locals from the region often refer to the town as “Cowtown”, a reference to the use of “cow” in the town’s name and its history of dairy farming.

Cowaramup is a quaint little town retaining much of the character of its group settlement farming heritage, but being reinvented as the home of a wide range of unique local produces products from organic wines, soaps, lollies and other gourmet foods. Having been founded on dairy cows, Cowaramup is still often referred to as Cow Town by the locals. You can enjoy a delightfull meal at the Udderly Delightful Cafe or have a picnic at the Pioneer Park, where the local Lions club provide a free electric BBQ, of course there are public toilets provided as well as playground equipment and covered seating. Cowaramup is located just North of Margaret River on the Bussell Highway.

The Men’s Shed
The Angry Bird in the Shade in Cowaramup.

Margaret River.

Margaret River is a small town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital.

Vines from the roadside.

The surrounding area is the Margaret River Wine Region and is known for its wine production and tourism, attracting an estimated 500,000 visitors annually. In earlier days the area was better known for hardwood timber and agricultural production.
Australian Ringneck Parrots joined us for breakfast.
On our deck Margaret River
The Margaret River.