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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Marine Parade, Napier New Zealand

A beautiful beachside location



The Marine Parade is the stretch of road that, as the name suggests, runs along the coastal part of Napier. It had been destroyed in the 1931 earthquake and rebuilt in the Art Deco style popular at the time. The Memorial Arch has the ship's bell from the Veronica which was the first ship to come to the city's aid. It's the only public memorial in Napier commemorating the earthquake.


The Marine Parade gardens and the Colonnades, which I thought were wonderful, they had such an English seaside appearance about them.


The Colonnades, loved the wooden benches for gazing out to see or inwardly to the town.


The Napier Sound Shell (with young girl on the stage with Dad taking her photo!) the Colonnade and the Memorial Arch, all built on the rubble left after the earthquake.


The beach with its black sand.


Beach path and small jetty.


The Sunken gardens with the Pania of the Reef statue.
The Pania of the Reef statue was presented in 1954 and it's become one of the most well-known and photographed statues in New Zealand. It is believed that it's the first statue to perpetuate a Maori story.

Just nearby is the Tom Parker fountain.
It was open on Christmas eve in 1936 and it continues to light up each night. Another popular photographic site for vintage photos.


Looking inland from the beach and up the mountainside with the Conservation building behind the fountain.


Conservation House, it had been built as the Court House in the 1870s and survived the earthquake. Was used as a court building until 1988 and then restored as Conservation House and it holds the Hawkes Bay area office of the Department of Conservation.


The Napier South African War Memorial (1899-1901), opposite the Memorial Arch. The memorial was unveiled in 1906. I was surprised to see that it commemorated the South African war as the statue of the soldier on the top is common for World War I memorials in Australia. It seems the soldier resting on his rifle was used for previous war memorials. The soldier had lost his head in the earthquake and after much discussion on a new location for the memorial it was restored and placed in its original position in 1947.



The Dome, an iconic Napier building. Originally built for an insurance company and has since been converted into luxury holiday apartments.

Further down Marine Parade is the National Aquarium and the area was undergoing redevelopment during my visit to Napier. 

There were guesthouses and cafes along the road and more holiday accomodation for those coming to the town for a beach holiday.

Napier ended up being my favourite place in New Zealand, and the Marine Parade area shows why it's such a lovely place to visit.




Sunday, 25 June 2017

Great beaches (part 2!)

A few more of the great beaches I've visited




Kata beach, Phuket Thailand.





Cinque Terre, Italy. Monterosso al mare, the only Cinque Terre town with a beach. This picture taken from the Hotel La Spiaggia room balcony, the hotel is directly infront of the beach. The beach is a lot more crowded in summer, it's a sea of beach umbrellas. I visited in late April, and the beach was fairly empty!


Horseshoe Bay, Victor Harbor South Australia


Trieste with the hills of Slovenia in the distance.


Trieste, the beach area called Barcola. No sand here! Rocks and concrete platforms but still packed with people in the summer. The city of Trieste in the middle of the picture.


Boomer Beach, Port Eliot South Australia. A popular surf beach, called 'Boomer' as the waves 'boom' in I think!


Sunji Beach, Lopud Island Croatia. Absolutely loved this beach, catch a ferry from Dubrovnik to this island, it's worth the walk from the port to this beach. It's a rarity, a sandy beach in the Dubrovnik area.


Aldinga Beach, South Australia.

And then nearby the Port Willunga Beach. Both well loved beach holiday locations for Adelaideans.



Finally one of the suburban Adelaide beaches, Semaphore. (So named for the semaphore flag code that was used to signal ships coming into Port Adelaide)
Path through the sand dunes to the beach.


The Semaphore jetty.






Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wallaroo, Australia

The largest seaside town on the Copper Coast


Wallaroo Town Hall, originally built in 1902, was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in 1919.

White settlement in what's now Wallaroo started in the the mid 1850s as the land was granted as a pastoral lease. With copper being discovered nearby in 1859, a deep water port was needed and the town of Wallaroo came into being.

The copper ore that was mined at Moonta and Kadina needed to be smeltered and so, what became the largest smelting operation outside of Wales (and largest in the Southern Hemisphere) was established in Wallaroo in 1861. The smelters operated until 1923, with the falling price of copper, the mines closed and soon after so did the Smelters. The town survived due to its port, it's used to load shipments of grain to the international market, as well as being a popular holiday destination.


During the mining era, each Christmas the rotunda was the location of Christmas carol concerts. It originally overlooked the bay, but was moved to this park in 1927. (I did the historic town walk, complete with very informative brochure!)


Loved this, still the town Fire Station!

This had been the town railway station, it still has the original signals, it's now the library.

Station sign from a genteel era, the Ladies Waiting room.


This is what is left today of the Smelters complex, the chimney stack in the distance was the largest of 12 that were on the site.

A historic photo of the Smelters from the Wallaroo museum. It shows the size of the complex.


Some more remnants of the Smelters in a redeveloped park next to the beach.



The only part of the Smelters complex still intact, this was the Smelters office, which has now been converted into heritage holiday accomodation. The beach infront is still called 'Office Beach' as it was the beach infront of the office!



The grain silos and wharf, also the ferry terminal for the ferry that goes across Spencers Gulf to Eyre Peninsula and cuts the travel time quite considerably!



The Wallaroo boat ramp, fishing is a major leisure pastime for the holiday makers and nearby residents. The boat ramp was well patronised this morning! The carpark was full of cars with their empty trailers as the owners had gone out for a day on the water. It was perfect weather with the sea totally calm. In recent years a marina has been built at Wallaroo, so people can now buy a house there and just park their boat in the backyard!



Just near the boat ramp was the wharf for the commercial fishing boats, not that many were in port.


Next to the Town Hall is this memorial. It was placed there by the 'admirers of Caroline Carleton' she is buried in the Wallaroo cemetery. Caroline Carleton's claim to fame was that she wrote the words to Song of Australia, she wrote the words as a poem and a musician called Carl Linger wrote the music. She had moved to Wallaroo to live with her daughter who had started a school there. Song of Australia had been one of the contenders for the official Australian National Anthem, but no-one outside of South Australia really knew it, so it lost out to Advance Australia Fair which was well-known in the eastern (and more populous states) in the referendum to choose the new National Anthem. Sadly Song of Australia isn't well known even in South Australia anymore and in my opinion it's a nicer song!

Wallaroo is a lovely quiet, (very quiet while I was there!) seaside town. There are nice beaches and an enclosed swimming area near the jetty. The summer months sees a lot more noise and activity in the town!  


View from the jetty, showing the swimming enclosure (called Wateroo!!) and office beach beyond.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Whanganui/Wanganui, New Zealand

Lovely town next to the Whanganui river

Driving down the west coast to Wellington from New Plymouth, Whanganui is the perfect stop. I didn't know very much about the town beforehand, and I discovered it's quite lovely.



At the edge of the town, if you're driving in from the direction of New Plymouth, is a large recreation park called Virginia Water. Judging from the amount of people I saw there, it's a very popular spot for the locals.


Lots of ducks!



The town had been quite prosperous as reflected by the heritage architecture that can be seen in the town today.



Queens Park Whanganui is the cultural centre of the town, there's an art gallery, a regional gallery with a major display of Maori artefacts and the war memorial centre.


The main street of the city centre decorated with hanging baskets, all very English to me! (There are hanging baskets galore during the summer months in the UK, towns, pubs, High Streets all have them)


The monument in the middle of the round about is dedicated to a former mayor. It was unveiled on this site in 1871 and then moved in 1906 to make way for a tram. The tram is no more, and in 1993 the monument arrived back in its original location. The heritage buildings are all nicely restored, it all makes for a pretty town.








Whanganui has an Opera House, built in 1899 and still in use today. 

Whanganui was built by the river, that made a nice location to have lunch. After lunch had a walk along the river and found a paddleboat. Thrilled to see it as I had no idea paddle steamers were used in New Zealand. She arrived in Whanganui in 1899 and has been restored to her original condition. (Was thrilled to see a paddle steamer as they are a nostalgic connection with South Australia as they were the main form of river transport in the past.)
The Waimarie, behind her the tower on the hill is the Durrie Hill Memorial Tower, it was built in 1919 as a memorial to the New Zealanders killed in World War I. The red building to the right is the underground elevator that takes people up to the top of the hill. That's famous in its own right as one of only two public underground elevators that currently exist in the world.


The Waimarie centre which celebrates the paddle steamer era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The style of this building and its wooden construction makes it look to me as a building that should be in the United States. It has that cowboy (western) aura from what I've seen in movies!


I totally love this! Ultimate quaintness, I found it after consulting a map for public toilets. This is the 'Ladies' Rest' built in 1930 and they are public toilets but originally it provided some respite (rest) for the ladies who came in from the surrounding farmlands for a day in the town. (Later, men's toilets were built, they are to the right of the picture, a much smaller building and no rest involved!)

Whanganui was lovely, it's a beautifully maintained town which makes it a pleasure to visit. For more active tourists, the Whanganui river is the place to go. It attracts cyclists (on its banks!) hikers and canoeists. The Whanganui river is the longest navigable river in New Zealand. (There's a random bit of information for you all!)