About the Author


My thanks to George and Pauline for the beautiful photos from a walk we all agreed was a highlight of this year’s walking. It’s a long drive to Cape Reinga from whence this walk began and it was blustery and cool at the beginning. But before the day was out I’d had a couple of dips in the sea and waded in a creek to keep cool. The landscape is extraordinarily varied and there is a sense of being away from it all in this, the very north of the country. I trust you enjoy the photos of which I’ve only chosen to show a few. The complete album can be found here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/109798694876493156288/CapeMariaVanDiemenWalk

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Ready to begin

Ready to begin: our destination is behind us in the distance.

For your information

For your information

Near beginning

Near beginning: Te Werahi below

Flax readying to bloom

Flax readying to bloom

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Relentless seas.

Relentless seas.

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It's warming up!

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It’s warming up!

The climb up from Te Werahi

The climb up from Te Werahi

Flax Snails

Flax Snails

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Stunning landscape.

Stunning landscape. Looking out to Motuopao Island

Skyscape

Skyscape

Windswept formations.

Windswept formations.

A dip at midday.

A dip at midday.

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

It is a working lighthouse.

It is a working lighthouse.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be. Note treacherous currents.

Creek arriving at the sea.

Creek arriving at the sea. We followed it up.

Down the dune

Down the dune: It’s a sudden stop at the end.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

Windswept formations

Two steps up and one step back.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Paki.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Kao. A just reward for a long day.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com  In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

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As I indicated in my previous post I get back to the Wairakau Stream track and Lane Cove whenever possible. I did so again today and saw Shining Cuckoos for the first time. I have heard them on more than one occasion on this walk but today for the first time three birds came within two metres of me when I stopped to rest in low regrowth scrub. They were more vividly coloured than I expected with emerald green backs.

Shining Cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Shining Cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz

 

Here’s the distinctive song of the cuckoo:

Tomtits are regularly seen on this walk and today was no exception.

Tomtit

Tomtit

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella

Today’s walk followed several days of heavy rain. the creeks were high and after following a small group of rosellas on the side of Duke’s Nose I surprised two bathing in a swollen creek. This migrant from Australia has naturalized and is such a beautifully coloured bird. Who wouldn’t like them?

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

 

 

Bluegreen Inlets-3

The Wairakau Stream track leading to Lane Cove is one I do every possible Sunday in the summer. A couple Sundays back I guided friends from Kerikeri on a new loop I’ve recently discovered thanks to a chance visit with Anita in the Kaeo Library. Thank you Anita, should you happen upon this post. And my thanks to Dennis for the photos of our day together and for joining me for the warmest swim one could imagine in November.

Canyon. Part of the diversity that makes this such a great walk.

Canyon. Part of the diversity that makes this such a great walk.

The first lookout after the long climb to start the walk,

The first lookout after the long climb to start the walk,

Totara North from the above lookout.

Totara North from the above lookout.

Towards Taratara from the lookout.

Towards Taratara from the lookout.

Dukes Nose

Duke’s Nose

High above the canopy.

High above the canopy.

Looking south from Duke's Nose

Looking south towards Whangaroa Harbour entrance

Lunch stop at the stream.

Lunch stop at the stream.

Another stream crossing.

Another stream crossing.

Beautiful tree.

Beautiful tree.

Looking down towards Lane Cove, yachts and DOC hut.

Looking down towards Lane Cove, yachts and DOC hut.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

This represents a new route we are exploring which creates a circuit walk including the Wairakau Stream, Lane Cove and Duke’s Nose.

We're about to head up the ridge.

We’re about to head up the ridge.

 

Koru pattern in nature

Koru pattern in nature

 

View over Whangaroa Harbour

View over Whangaroa Harbour

 

Looking out to Taratara.

Looking out to Taratara.

 

New Zealand Clematis

New Zealand Clematis

 

 

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

 

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

 

 

 

 

Some of us ended up walking for two hours after our lunch and ending up back at where we had eaten lunch. It shows how easy it is to get lost in this ever-shifting dune landscape. It is a truly beautiful place to walk.

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Looking to the west coast from the dunes

Looking to the west coast from the dunes

So many interesting eroded formations.

So many interesting eroded formations.

 

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Remnants of the old forest.

Remnants of the old forest.

 

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

 

Our transport for the day.

Our transport for the day.

Dramatic cliffs dominated the seaward side of the island.

Dramatic cliffs dominated the seaward side of the island.

On the first day of May our hiking group did something rather special. We hired a boat to take us to Urupukapuka Island in the Bay of Islands. This is the largest of a group of islands that are part of a worthy and ambitious project to restore native flora and fauna, in particular native birds, to the Bay of Islands. Tree planting and pest eradication have been underway for some years. We heard the song of tuis almost every moment we were on the island and were often accompanied by fantails. The pateke or brown teal is an endangered small, brown and quite beautiful native duck. There were a few on a pond that we visited. You’ll see photos below of the ducks and of concerned bird lovers that we met who were tracking the ducks.

Urupukapuka (island of many pukas, a native tree whose large leaves were used as paper by early European visitors) is a delightful place to visit. There are a couple of shore-side DOC camps, easy, well-maintained tracks, regenerating bush, grassy areas and historic pas. It is well worth the effort to get there.

Arrival

Arrival

Calm, protected beaches were found on the leeward side of the island.

Calm, protected beaches were found on the leeward side of the island.

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A beautiful brown teal or Pateke

A beautiful brown teal or Pateke

urapukapuka 126

The spectacular view from the lookout on Roberton Island, an excursion we made on the return boat trip.

The spectacular view from the lookout on Roberton Island, an excursion we made on the return boat trip.

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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

On Top of Puheke

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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