What a spectacular day we had on the last Wednesday in April at Paradise Bay, more correctly known as Motukahakaha. A new record for walkers in our group with 26 adults and two infants. Thanks to Don Hammond for these excellent photos. Just another day in paradise in the far north of New Zealand

1 from Don Hammond

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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 Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.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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I’ve been enjoying the walk between Waitangi and Haruru Falls for twenty years. The same pohutukawa trees have played host to nesting cormorants (shags) for at least that long.

The photos here are from Chris Farrell’s camera on a walk the group did September 7th. Below you’ll see a native gecko and below that a native wood pigeon or kereru (or kukupa). Enjoy.

You’ll find an earlier post on this same track here. Waitangi Track September 2012

Kereru.jpg

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 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

Wednesday’s walk carried us 15 kilometres along pristine, mostly empty beaches from Rangiputa to Puheke, Karikari Bbeach and Maitai Bay. How’s this for winter? I must say my dip in the sea was rather brief!

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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 Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.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

John Garton and Digitalis. Approaching the Trig

John Garton and Digitalis. Approaching the Trig

Last week the Wednesday Walkers were invited to tour the 800 acre farm of John Garton in Fern Flat. Some 6 or 7 years ago John gifted 105 hectares of regenerating hill-country native bush as an open space covenant of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust —a generous move on the part of a farmer whose family has owned this land for 94 years.

Steep going up.

Steep going up.

John, who turns 80 next year, guided us on a walk that would have exhausted many a younger man. He shared stories from his youth, noting the incredible community spirit that once enveloped the rural area he called home. ‘Whenever a house was sold, the whole community would hold a farewell party for those leaving,’ recalled John. Then, a week after the new people had moved in, the process would be repeated so that the newcomers had a chance to meet all their neighbours.

And steep going down.

And steep going down.

The social fabric of the community was strong and the nature of life resulted in strong, fit people. Children either walked or went on horseback to and from school. Couples met at the regular dances held in the community halls of the area. John expressed concern that young people growing up today don’t have the benefits of the strong community bonds of yesteryear. Something to think about.

John Garton and his faithful farm dog.

John Garton and his faithful farm dog.

Trudging up and down the steep hills of the family farm must have played a part in keeping John fit. Despite being on his second pacemaker he is still able to shear 100 sheep in a day.

While preparing this post I browsed the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust website. I came across a story I have repeated to many others. A very inspiring story.

Robert ‘Mútt’ Lange, a successful songwriter and music producer, and ex-husband of Shania Twain, has gifted 53,000 hectares to Queen Elizabeth II National Trust as an open space covenant. In essence he has gifted New Zealanders a block of land 10 times larger than any other open space covenant ever given in New Zealand. Why, you might ask? Because he wants to make a difference. He has a team of people who have thus far eradicated 7,500 feral goats and are planting around 12,000 native trees and plants a month in the 8-9 months each year that allow planting in this mountainous part of the South Island.

Please click below to see a six minute clip on Campbell Live. I hope you are as inspired as I am. Here’s a man who cares and who is putting his money where his mouth is. What a great example some of our empire-building leaders could learn from. Who’s next?

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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 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 hiking group has been rained out the past couple of Wednesdays. But the following pictures are from a walk a few weeks ago along the low tide road (I use this term liberally) to Shipwreck Bay. The waves were perfect for surfing that day, so we watched a few catching rides. Then we headed up into a wild dune landscape, a sort of desert-scape by the sea. The stumps look to be remnants of an old kauri forest. It was a beautiful day in an unusual, attractive place. Enjoy the photos.


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

 

 

Peter Grassby in the Mangonui Hall

More Mischief and Mayhem in Mangonui

Mangonui Céilí co-founder Fiona McGrory describes him as a ‘one-stop shop for entertainment.’ U.K. based Pete Grassby—consummate singer, songwriter, recording artist, accordion repairer, Morris dancer and dance caller—is back in New Zealand for his annual tour. He’ll be joined by one of his U.K. bands, Grasshoppers, for the Auckland folk festival later this month. Several years ago he toured Aotearoa with another of his bands, Aardvarks. One wonders what he would call a New Zealand band should he dare to establish one. Sand Flies?

This entertainer extraordinaire will be hosting the next Céilí (‘Kay-lee’) at the Mangonui Hall on the waterfront on Saturday, January 21st. The Céilí begins at 7.30pm. But be sure to get there early. It is always standing room only when Pete Grassby hosts a céilí. Not only will Mr. Grassby call an oft-humorous variety of dances and play melodeon, he’ll sing a song or three. Grassby’s wit and charm ensure that everyone, including those who just come along to watch, have a great time. Pete Grassby will be backed up for this céilí by the regular talented Mangonui Céilí band, Spootiskerry Spraoi, affectionately called ‘Spoots.’ Admission is, as always, $3 per adult plus a plate for supper. Accompanied children are free.

Pete Grassby is available for gigs and house parties, as well as repairs of squeeze boxes during his limited time in the Far North and can be contacted at pdgrassby@fsmail.net

To purchase Pete’s CDs contact him by email as well.

Here’s the complete interview:

And here are three of the six tracks we played in the interview:

Trowie Byrn (John Stickle)  Track 12 on Cilan:

Nan’s Waltz (Pat Shuldham Shaw) Track 3 on Malvern Hills:

Scarborough Fair (Traditional arranged by Pete Grassby) Track 5 on Cilan

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

 

Amongst Dave Panckhurst’s many qualities, he was visionary. What he envisioned, what he dreamt of, was sometimes ahead of his time.

A couple of months ago Dave shared a dream with me. Now to dream alone is just to dream. To share a dream becomes a reality. Around 2005 Dave put a proposal to people at DOC and other appropriate organizations about the creation of New Zealand’s tenth Great Walk. Great Walks are the Department of Conservation’s premier walks. There are presently nine such walks, only three of which are found on the North Island. You’ve all heard of and perhaps walked some of New Zealand’s other great walks—the Milford Track, the Routeburn, the Heaphy Track etc. We have nothing like that in the Far North.

Dave’s idea was to create such a walk between Spirit’s Bay and Te Paki Stream or station. The tracks are largely in place but the necessary huts are not. Dave, ever the pragmatist, made practical do-able suggests for the placement of two huts. He measured distances appropriate to three days of walking and plotted it all on a map. It would be called Spirit Walk and would be different from any of New Zealand’s other famous walks, featuring stunning beaches and headlands, mangroves and dunes. It would be culturally significant. It would draw more visitors to the north. It would help to put our little part of the world on the map. The idea was turned down but since Dave made his proposal DOC has been steadily upgrading trails and facilities by the Cape and even added a campground where Dave suggested a hut could be.

When Dave shared this idea with me, he made it clear he’d done his best and it hadn’t happened. He was disappointed.  Now will you join with me in envisioning New Zealand’s tenth great walk? Let’s dream together and see this become a reality. Billions get spent on roads. Surely a few hundred thousand dollars can be made available for such a worthy, far-reaching idea. Let’s help make Dave’s vision a reality.

Spirits Bay (Piwhane Bay)

 

 

Cape Maria van DiemenTe Paki Stream and sand dunes

 

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 Review