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Eleven Tuacs met at Matakana on a brilliant sunny day to see the new Sculptureum. We were amazed at the first garden we visited, full of water features and very interesting sculpture displays including a huge dandelion flower made of yellow plastic buckets .A collection of sculptures and live animals were on display, but wait there's more. We moved inside to the gallery and saw some amazing displays of art and models of everything from spiders to a rhinoceros. Outside we went again to an outside garden full of colour and fun, with some incredible artworks of animals and scenes. We ended the day with an hour or two having a glass of wine or water on the veranda in the sun, to conclude what was a fun Tuac outing.
One of the largest gatherings the club has seen and this time the Committee only had to prepare the dessert. We left the main meal to the Spit Roast Company; delivered on time and enjoyed by everyone. Secret Santa, as always, provided much mirth with swapping the gifts providing some hilarious moments. Great time for everyone to catch up on a splendid social occasion. The weather played its part and the beautiful surroundings contributed to the day`s success. Thanks to the committee for all the hard work and other members who also pitched in to help.
Action packed from day one, starting on Friday, with a walk around the headlands and lunch at the Boat Club. Friday evening's meal was the "World Famous in Omokoroa" lasagna with other delicious appetizers ,thanks to Guy and Maureen. Saturday was a choice of cycling to the Mount for lunch or a walk up the Wairere Falls, one of the most beautiful in the country. Saturday night was BBQ time and a great catch up for Tuacs at Guy and Maureen's. Unfortunately the weather drove us indoors but a great time was still had by all. Sunday we all enjoyed the great entertainment and food at the Te Puna Quarry Garden Festival before heading back to Auckland.
With 16 people booked, Kaitiaki Adventures added an extra session to accommodate us 8 at a time. After a talk on what to expect, we were kitted out with wetsuits, flippers, life jackets and helmets. During the short bus ride to the Kaituna river, we were given safety instructions. On arrival, a demonstration followed on how to use the board, then it was boards on heads, for the 5 minute walk down a path, steep steps & a tunnel to the start of the sledging at the foot of a 7m waterfall where the white water rafters go down. Everyone had to jump into the surging torrent one at a time and demonstrate recovering from being upside down in the water, then we were on our way. During rest stops we could marvel at the beautiful surroundings. We coasted down little waterfalls & into the turmoil of surging water, tossed like corks through mini rapids, swirling around eddies, sometimes being given a helping tug to safety by the guides, then tried sledging UP a waterfall. An awesome experience.
The skies had cleared and arriving before the busloads, we set out with open minds and cheque books, to see for ourselves this year's offerings. We were not disappointed; amazing sculptures displaying to us artists who have the ability to think outside the square, who presented to us works from colourful glass, to my favourite - a bronze ballroom couple embraced in a dance routine. There were many interesting Tuac discussions on interpretations of different exhibits and it was a fun morning culminating in a pleasant morning tea at the Miko Cafe
A wonderful weekend of exploring and good company. Guy and Maureen opened their beautiful new home in Omokoroa in the Bay of Plenty. Friday we explored the Te Puna Quarry gardens full of amazing sculptures,views and manicured gardens. Friday night was mingling and a buffet dinner with lasagne to die for - thanks so much to our amazing host and hostess . Saturday was a walking tour of the waterfront with some magnificent homes and in particular an unexpected guided tour of the home of Rocky, a Taiwanese man who proudly showed us around his garden - simply amazing. Lunch at the boat club then back home for another sumptuous buffet. Sunday it's overseas to Matakana Island and a down to earth tour conducted by the locals using a carriage pulled by draft horse, shanks pony and a ride on a flat deck truck to the beach and all corners of the island .The cyclists also completed a grand tour to all corners of the island with a wonderful lunch stop on the beach opposite Mt Maunganui. Back to Omokoroa by boat, a quick drink and our weekend of discovery and fun was over .Thanks so much to organisers and hosts Guy and Maureen - you were fabulous!
19 TUACs, together with some lively youngsters voyage to the Riverhead Tavern on a windy ride up the Waitemata harbour.The youngsters were in party mode from the start, with all of us joining in and dancing to all the old songs probably recorded before they were born. The three course meal was great and in no time it was 10.30pm and time to get back on board for our trip home .The wind had dropped and the water was flat and braving a cool night under the stars, there were fabulous views of the city from the top deck while the music and dancing continued below.The evening ended at the dock after midnight with a rousing rendition of "Who the Heck is Alice"
Starting with a wonderful home cooked morning tea on arrival at the island, we were met by our tour guide, John Walsh, a current bach owner, who explained the history of the island, the significance of the bach community, how the baches came to being on the island, the prison gangs who spent 9 years on the island building roads and creating archways, salt water swimming pool and a tennis court (never finished). We got to wander amongst some of the baches and went inside for an up close and personal look at what memorabilia John's bach has inside. Everything on the island is reused, especially the flotsam which washes up.
Journey fifty kms out to sea, board a rubber dingy and prepare for an experience of a lifetime. You could be forgiven for thinking you are another planet - gas escaping out of fissures in the ground, steaming sulphur lakes, amazing rock formations and even boiling mud. A 2 hour guided tour showing us everything White Island has to offer - scenery, volcanic activity and the history of the island's sulphur mining days. A unique place to visit.
A great weekend of dining, walking and partying Starting on Friday with the Troubadour walk around the estuary beachfront stopping at private homes with varied performances for us to enjoy .This year we were treated to Magicians ,comedy acts,a family string quartet and a one man band ,all very enjoyable on a warm evening Its now time to pitch the tents and an evening BBQ pot luck dinner On Saturdaythe hikers spread out around Mangawhai on varied walks At 3pm time to put on the dancing shoes for the Wine and food festival Great music, great atmosphere and great company made for a very enjoyable afternoon Sunday is breakfast at the domain with our fellow walkers and then an hours drive for Bob to the Matheson Bay coastal walk to Goat Island in beautiful weather . Thena race back home to watch us win the cricket world cup !!!
Lovely Indian meal before heading over to the cosy theatre at Lopdell House to see Roger Hall's comedy " Shortcut to Happiness".
Four days of returning to the thirties, vintage cars parades, shows, big band music, high teas and enjoying a fabulous atmosphere, as all of Napier dresses up Art Deco style, celebrating the rebuilding of Napier after the 1931 earthquake. Check out the TUAC members as they join in the fun.
Great response with 21 people turning up for this walk. It was a good work out with lots of steps up and down. Track was mostly under cover with some good views of the Manukau Harbour. Weather was kind to us and did not start raining until after lunch.
This catered walk covered 3 days of lovely walks from Whakapata Cottage to Stony Bay on the eastern Wairarapa Coast to Te Awaiti and then returning to our starting point. Great not having to carry your backpack, just a day pack filled with wonderful home made food provided by the hosts at each overnight stopoff. Amazing home cooked meals every night. Great scenery........ beautiful native bush, shipwrecks, mushrooms to pick, seals on the rocks. A great variety to suit everyone.
11 members ventured underground through lava caves in Mt Eden which we entered through private property. The entrance to the cave is awesome, gated to keep out the riffraff. On entering the cave, one of our members mentioned she was way out of her comfort zone and needed some encouragement. Our first hurdle was descending into the caves on our bottoms over a 2 metre ledge.From thereon it was quite straightforward with a little shuffling so our beanies didn't get knocked off our heads. Our guide Peter Crossley, was full of information. Formally mushrooms were grown in the caves, and this explains the rails at the cave entrance. It was also used for filming where the crew threw glass glitter around to make it look better and there is still evidence of that today. Peter took a bag with him to continue collecting the rubbish they left behind. We were accompanied by 3 of his friends aged from 72-84, along with the local neighbour's cat. Two of Peter's friends have travelled worldwide and written books on caving overseas. One 82 yr old lady used a walking stick and it was with the help of our members that she was able to get in and out of the caves. A really interesting afternoon. We just don't know what we are walking and driving over, do we.
Twenty people turned up for this 5.63k walk along the foreshore to Waikowhai Park where we stopped for lunch. The return journey of 6ks took us along roads and tracks through the native bush back to Onehunga. The weather was kind to us with the sun coming out while we were having lunch and the rain holding off until we reached our cars
A great walk to the Arataki Visitors Centre, following Exhibition Drive through lovely bush with some wonderful scenic lookout points along the route. Lunch afterwards at The Block at Blockhouse Bay.
A weekend of hiking, orienteering, plus indoor sports and games. Wining & dining around an open fire in the evenings.
We had a perfect winter's day for horse riding. Great horses, spectacular views from the hill tops and good trails. We walked, we trotted (even the beginners), we cantered and some of us even galloped up the home stretch. The horses were perfectly matched to the rider's weight, height and riding experience. The owners and the staff were fantastic. Lunch was at a cafe in Warkworth afterwards.
Highlights of the trip include an amazing sunrise boat trip with the mountain bikes on board, transferring over to the sand dunes to bike along the rugged West Coast beach, Trina's French crepes cooked on the BBQ and exploring the new Twin Coast cycle trail.
Friday was sightseeing around Napier on arrival and viewing the biggest surf Napier has had for a while. Saturday we biked The Big Easy, a 45 km cycle ride from Havelock North to Napier finishing at Church Rd Winery for a fantastic concert with Jackie Clarke, Annie Crummer & Rikki Morris. Sunday was an optional 5 hour gannet adventures tour on the old red tractors along the beach. Amazing views of the cliffs surrounding Cape Kidnappers & we got to see fluffy chicks trying to get themselves ready for their long migration. Some spent the afternoon checking out the wonderful art deco buildings and cafes before we all got together for a pot luck dinner. A great weekend of fun, laughter and amazing experiences with superb weather.
What a superb morning to be up early and on the beach at 7.45 a.m. The group split into two depending on the distance they were signed up for and a warm up routine was run en masse before they set off on the course, the shorter distance starting 10 minutes later. First 2.5 kms was to the end of Orewa Beach, followed by a beautiful scenic bush walk through Eaves Bush before crossing the creek to head into Kensington Park and the fancy housing areas of Orewa. Both groups split at the 5 km mark and went in differing directions, returning through the bush and the beach. Congratulations to Gerry for coming 1st overall male (of any age group) in the 10.5 km walk. Well done. BBQ lunch at Shelia's house right on Arundel Reserve. Delightful setting and lunch.
18 holes around a lovely mini golf course with a prize for the best player. 1st place was shared by two people ... one earnt a free entry pass and the other chose a cap. Three people scored a hole in one!
In 1911 the Salvation Army opened Rotoroa Island as a rehabilitation facility for alcoholics. It was New Zealand's first & longest running addiction treatment centre & operated until 2005. For over 100 years, Rotoroa Island was off-limits to all but those "drying out" there. Known as 'Alci-traz', the island held something of a mystique for the general public. The island closed as an addiction treatment centre in 2005. In 2009, a trust was established to restore the island & reopen it to the public.A state-of-the-art exhibition centre & museum now showcases the island's fascinating history while heritage buildings such as the jail, chapel & schoolhouse have been restored.
Ooh la la! Members were invited to dress as supporters of either France or the AB's and even though the French supporters outnumbered the AB fans, the AB's kept their unbeaten record intact, with a win over France. Great food - dinner at David's, followed by dessert at Carol's.
From Waikaremoana to Panekire Hut for the 1st night (all uphill) then onto Waiopaoa Hut for a well earned 2nd night and the third day, a 4/5 hour hike to Marauiti Hut. Last day walking to the water taxi which returned us to our cars. Stunning views from the top of the hills above the lake. Thanks to Guy carrying all the cooking equipment, we ate the best food of everyone staying in the huts!
The Timber Trail joins two old logging tramways running from Pureora southwards toward Ongarue, crossing 35 bridges incl. 5 suspension bridges. The trail stretches for 85 kms through four ecological areas, showcasing remnants of the great forests that once dominated this remote area. It's a fantastic ride, undoubtedly one of the North Island's best. First day 45 kms - very muddy ride. 2nd day - much easier 55 km ride with 14 kms of downhill. Memorabilia has been left behind in the bush & there are lots of history placards, giving you an idea of the hard conditions the bushmen faced. Best part of the trail is the incredible network of very stable suspension bridges built to get across ravines & rivers. The Ongarue Spiral is well worth taking the time to stop & read the history of how it was built.
When Alan Gibbs purchased his Kaipara property in 1991, he already had three decades of significant art collecting behind him. The Gibbs Farm collection started out from Alan and Jenny Gibbs' history of collecting mainly paintings which has spanned 30 years and has since further extended what Gibbs admits is 'a fairly developed taste for abstract minimalist art'. The landscape rolls across ridges and gullies and extensive flatlands that have been contoured over the years.
Why would anyone want to wade through 6 kms of mud, crawl under barbed wire fences, clamber over obstacles, slide down muddy slopes and negotiate swamps? Because it's a challenge and also fun!
A quiet meander through farm land. Group was split into two for the guides to handle better. When the heavy rain squall approached all the horses instantly turned their tails into wind and stood grouped close together. Very smart idea!
Olive grove owner, Briar Ross, provides a scrumptious lunch in gorgeous surroundings and a bottle of olive oil, in return for us plucking the olive trees with special rakes for the annual harvest.
Visited Kawakawa, Wairere Boulders, Horeke Tavern, Mangungu Mission, Rawene, Opononi, Hokinga Harbour by boat, Kohukohu and Motukaraka by car ferry, Omapere, Tane Mahuta and Waipoua Forest. A great weekend learning the history of the area with some fun sand sledging thrown in. Special highlights were walking the Heritage Trail in Kohukohu, one of the first European settlements in New Zealand and visiting the Motukaraka Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, which is very visible across the harbour from Rawene. Built in 1910, it was a significant structure in its day.
A lovely stroll through a much loved, well maintained garden, followed by a lovely lunch at a cafe in Coatesville. For those flower lovers, this is a gallery of vibrant colour and is all about the flowers!
Starting on the Kaipara Hills Rd, the walkway follows an airstrip and logging track along the ridge to the Atuanui forest, which has fine stands of regenerating rimu and kauri. We followed this to the summit of Mount Auckland (Atuanui - 305 m) where we had lunch at the trig station, with spectacular panoramic views over the nearby Kaipara Harbour and Hoteo River estuary. From here we followed the track westward to the Kaipara Coast Highway exit, which was a steeper descent and because of the recent heavy rain, meant we had to watch our footing. Even descending further down the track, the views were still stunning.
Flying over the treetop canopy was such a thrill. On the walk back up through the forest we learnt about pest eradication, the bird life and the herbal benefits of the trees and plants we passed. Worth the drive to Rotorua to experience this.
After a fast 10 minute water taxi ride from Opononi we arrived on the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour. Our very knowledgeable skipper gave us a quick run through of the history of the area and then a briefing on how to get the boogie board to fly down the dunes and we were left to it. The sand dunes did not look too high until you started climbing them, especially on a windy day with a boogie board. Sometimes it was hard to get yourself launched, but once you got going you went down rather fast. Some sledgers came within inches of going in the tide.
Zipping down the flying foxes (now called ziplines) was exhilarating. Three 200m dual ziplines flew us smoothly side-by-side down into a stunning tract of original and regenerating native bush.
Learning how to sail a land yacht was great fun. Easier if you had previous sailing experience, but did not take too long to get the hang of it. Once you learn how to get the best sail angle, you could go really fast!
Departing from Te Anau to Milford Track first, followed by a ride up Lake Whakatipu in the Earnslaw to be dropped off to complete the Routeburn Track. A real mix of weather but the scenery made up for it. Very cold at night on the Routeburn track.
Staying at DOC huts and walking the many tracks there are on Stewart Island. Experienced all weather conditions with some places being too flooded to be able to walk all of the track. Spent News Years in the local pub.
A stroll through the bush in the Hunua Ranges on an overcast/wet day. Last training walk before attempting the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Toss the Teddy, sack races, 3 legged races ....... such fun being a kid again. Funniest moments were when the teddy was tossed and ended up in the bushes and then again on top of the gazebo. To make the teddy easy to toss he had been filled with stones and sugar which soon gave him a sticky stomach. Poor Ted!
How lucky to have a beautiful day to experience this "must do" track. Once you get past the Devil's Staircase, you reach a plateau in between Mt Ngaruahoe and Mt Tongariro which makes you feel you are on the moon ...... a totally foreign landscape awaits, filled with amazing landscapes, views and a myriad of alpine plants. The Red Crater is an awesome surprise as are the Emerald and Blue Lakes. The expansive views over Lake Taupo on the northern downward slope are worth a photo or two.
After a thorough briefing from our young English guide, we paired up and headed over to Rangitoto Island. The seas were calm on the way over, but paddling home against the tide and wind, tested us all out. Morning tea was provided by the kayak company, followed by a walk to the top of the island where we had time to sit and have lunch and check out the panoramic views.
Saturday paddle boat cruise on Lake Maraetai going as far up the Mangakino Stream as the boat could get. On our return to the lake, the skipper backed the boat into a bank, chopped down a few branches, offloaded the bikes and we biked back along the Waikato River Trail 15 kms to Mangakino. Those not biking walked the same route all the way back to the lakefront. Pizza night at the local pizza place at Whakamaru was a great hit. Sunday we continued along part of the river trail heading past the Whakamaru Dam. Foggy in the morning but beautifully fine during the day. Free camping on the lakefront. Another backwater town in NZ with so much to offer.
One group drove to the eastern side of the Western Okataine Track while the others drove to the western side. Two brave souls rode the 17km trail, mostly pushing their bikes uphill! All 3 groups met in the middle for lunch, swapped car keys and continued on, to all eventually meet up for a soak in the natural hot pools at Lake Rotoma and then headed back to stay lakeside at Lake Rotoiti. Sunday was a gentle stroll through the bush at Okere Falls to watch the white water rafting and kayaking, followed by lunch in the park.
A mid winter trip using Fullers Grab One ferry tickets. Very good value for money. Most people bought their bikes, some caught the shuttle bus on arrival and we also had a campervan and a bus join us from Auckland. Many laughs to be had at the Water Works while trying out all their quirky water activities and contraptions. A must see tourist stop in the Coromandel is the wild pigs on the 309 Road. Tip: don't let them see the bread in your hands!
A lovely day out walking along the rugged West Coast, starting at Karekare and following Comans Track to Mercer Bay and looping back on the Ahu Ahu Track.
Another Fullers Grab One ferry special from Auckland to Tiritiri Matangi Island via Gulf Harbour. Lovely smooth trip up the harbour to the island, but during the day the wind and seas got up and without the skillful efforts of the skipper, loading only 5 people at a time onto the ferry, we would have been stuck on the island overnight. Tiritiri lighthouse was the last one to be manned and ran from 1865 until the 1980's when it was automated. Great to see the conservation happening on the island with our endangered birds; little spotted kiwi, takahe, kokako, hihi, brown teal, saddleback, kakariki, North Island robin, fernbird, whitehead, Duvaucel's gecko and tuatara are all thriving. Also interesting to hear that birds raised on the island, are being flown round NZ to populate other pest free bird sanctuaries.
After a well briefed training session, we walked 45 minutes uphill to the top of Kitekite Falls in the Waitakeres. Our first mission was to jump into a deep pool to get to the start of the rock faces. Under the careful guidance of 3 great instructors, we abseiled a 12m drop, then a 5m, then the biggie..... 50m! After a lunch stop in a lovely leafy part of the river, we then tackled a smaller abseil, this time under a rushing waterfall. Then came the scramble .... over rocks, jumping off cliffs, negotiating underground waterfalls. Certainly an event to get out of your comfort zone, BUT well worth it! Great fun.
Mountain bike race and 21 km run leaving from Mangakino lakefront, cycling 21 kms along the Waikato River Trail. Congratulations to Rob who ran the whole distance. We started in the fog at Mangakino but it soon cleared to blue, blue skies. Walkers shuttled to the start near Atiamuri and did a pleasant 7 km walk to where we all met up at the finish line at Lake Whakamaru Christian Camp. Then onto Rotorua for the 42 km annual Bike the Lake race. Was fun to watch the brave ones tackling the wet Zorb ride. Another great weekend away.
Great to take part in something that is happening for the very first time. Had to wait for the wind to die down on the harbour bridge before the organisers were allowed to let us go. Buses were specially arranged on the bridge to act as a wind buffer and crash barrier for the cyclists. To cycle in the bus lanes on such a nice road surface was great. Everyone completed the 15 km ride with a smile on their face. Two members were interviewed for TV at the finish line at Smales Farm. Rode back to the city via Devonport and caught the ferry.
Bush bashing, mud underfoot, but no-one complained as the view from the top was stunning. Beautiful bush to admire and plenty of wood pigeons. The predator free bird sanctuary has a great bird watching tower to climb and if you sit quietly enough during the bird feeding session near the tower, the Kakahe will feed all around you. Being endangered they are fitted with radio transmitters.
Great weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland and Raglan is a great spot to chill out. The friendly guides from Raglan Kayaks took us on a 2 hour history tour of the harbour and surrounds, complete with morning tea on our very own beach. Easy paddle across the harbour - a bit harder when the tide was coming in on the way back, but at least we worked off that yummy morning tea! Watched the Rugby World Cup final at the local pub.
4 days of brilliant tramping on one of the most scenic trails in NZ. Great DOC huts and company. Congratulations to the team who tramped the Heaphy in 4 days - Alan, Felicity, Gary, Jayne, Sheila, Rob, Hillary, Jackie, Sue, Irene, Helene, Anita, Betty and Suzanne