River view

Took a kayak along the river that borders our land to get a view from the water ….



… and to get a closer look at the mangrove trees





The strip spraying has killed off the grass and weeds, it’s time to get the rake out to do a bit of tidying up beneath the trees.

The trees themselves are showing so new spring growth.


There are even some new buds bowing on some trees.








Decided to break up the journey to Mangonui with an overnight stop at Whangerai. Whangerai hasn’t got s great reputation but actually the motel where we stayed was smart, clean and quiet; breakfast was sitting in the sun by the river-side, very picturesque.

We need to make lots of decisions for our build so that our builder can submit the plans and price the build, today’s stop off at KeriKeri is to look at bathroom items and tiles from four of the rooms. Everyone in New Zealand seems to have a fascinating story, the tiles saleslady is married to an Italian and used to live in Venice; we learn this and more after mentioning our olives and love of Italy.

We arrive at the land to be greeted by rain.


On Sunday the sun comes out and it is time to start raising the wires on the lines of trees. This means unlatching the wire tighteners and if we are lucky just raining the  wire without detaching it, when we are unlucky it means having to rewind the wire on to teh tightener, not an easy task.


It is also time to loosen more of the ties that hold the trees to he wires, many of them are strangling the trees and constraining growth. Spring is coming so it will be good to loosen as many trees as we can as soon as possible.


Our earlier stop in Whangerai gave us the opportunity to buy some sturfy work boots,  they even come with pink laces for the ladies.


Getting started

Yes! The grass has been cut!


Our house area has been pegged out when we arrive at the site, we are here to meet the builder and architect to finalise the house concept and choose some of the colours so that the building consents can be submitted to the council.



The grass has been mown and the land looks a lot better now, it  looks brown from the main road but that is just the dead grass that has been chopped down. It is time to start helping the trees to recover.


We have a new friend who has adopted us, a Fan Tail that is missing it’s fanned tail. It squeaks like a mouse and flies around us wherever we go. Unfortunately it is to quick to  capture in a photograph.






After a few rounds of negotiations we agree on the price for the land, sign the offer and in very little time the paperwork is complete and Lot 7 is ours. Sunrise over Mangonui inlet and we set off to see our new land.

It is June before we get the opportunity to drive back up to Mangonui to see again our little piece of paradise.

The gorse seems even higher and just as vicious, not sure if the grass has grown even higher or it was this high when we first saw it.


A fan tail seems to be interested in keeping an eye on us


Wasps seems to have decided it is a good place to live as well.

wpid-20130614_150241.jpgWe are getting the impression that walking around the grove is going to keep us fit, particularly up and down the hilly lines of trees.


Then there is the work needed to bring the trees back to the healthy growth without competing against the gorses, and the grass…. but that’s for another day. For now we get to meet the first of our neighbours, who are keen to meet us and help  where they can.