Wednesday, November 12, 2008

14/16 Nov 2008 Mangatawhiri Dam

Mangatawhiri Dam - Hunua
70 km from Auckland is the Mangatawhiri Dam.  The map below shows the route from the Papakura - Hunua Rd to the dam.
Google Earth provides a birds eye view if the route shown on the map.
The Mangatawhiri Dam is stated as being the largest earth dam in the southern hemispehere.  The dam itself is detailed in more views below.
Arriving at the lower carpark next to the camping ground there was an information board that detailed walking tracks and points of interest.
The overnight parking for motorhomes (must have selfcontainment certificate) was on the other side of the carpark next to a grove of Kaihikatea trees.  $5 per night per adult, maximum stay 2 nights.
Across the camp ground next to the carpark was a really nice stream that flows from the spill way of the dam.
The following few pics have been taken from the top of the dam that is a short walk from the bottom carpark.  There is a carpark at the top of the dam as one of the pics will show.  The immediate pic below shows the rock face of the dam.  Fishing is pernitted only from this face - a license required.
There's a road along the top of the dam along which you can walk.  Walking on the grass face is not permitted.
The camping ground can be seen in the distance.
The upper carpark is at the beginning of the dam top road .
The dam is reputed to supply 19% of Aucklands water needs.  At this time at the end of the wharf the water measured some 90ft deep.
At the far end from the carpark is the spill way.
Enjoyed by others.
The spillway exits to the stream that was shown earlier on in the pics.
The dam is well worth a visit and would appear to be the most popular of the four in the area.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Labour Weekend 2008

The weekend weather wasn't great and only a couple of pics ere taken. Whilst storms, high wind and rain were predicted it was mostly high winds. Nevertheless we had a great weekend even if not many pics were taken after all we had been to Whananaki North previously, see the post - Whananaki Easter 2008.

Travelling from Auckland we turnd off at the Brnderwyn junction to stay at the Maungaturoto Recreation Hall POP for night 1, see Pin 1. See previous post 18/19 May08 Maungaturoto. For a $5 donation per night you can plug into the power and use the toilets and showers. The blue route is our trip up, 4 nights, (green home 1 night). We decided to take the road from Maungaturoto to Whangarei via the Paparoa/Oakleigh road which rejoins SH1 just south of Whangarei. There's a couple of pics of Paparoa in the post 26May07 Pahi on the Kaipara. Bad weather throughout the day (blue route) precluded any decent pics however here's one where we stopped for lunch.
This is one of the tru country halls that are the centre of a rural community fulfilling many needs from library to drop-in centre. From here, following the blue route, we turned off at Whangarei and headed up the 'Twin Bridges' road to Kaikohe. From Kaikohe via Kawa Kawa and a good coffee eventually to Whananaki North and the primary school where we were to spend the net three nights. We were the only ones there for the whole weekend, parked right by the sea.
This pic was taken on the best day. Whilst there we were treated to a horse gathering if you can call it that where some 50 or more riders and horses gathered to ride across the estuary at load tide.
They went across in groups and returned in even small groups a few hours later. You could see they, whilst tired, had had a great time.

A bit of fun was had playing Hill Billy Golf. Mike saw this game in the 'States' and has put his mind to making the game for sale here in Kiwi. Contact us for more information.
After three away from home nights it was time to head back to the big smoke, Auckland. We stopped part way back for one more night at Uretiti Beach, see 29May-3June Queens Birthday Weekened post. Uretiti Beach, DOC park, is a well known as a naturist beach. Having said that I really don't know how some of them could brave the cold and wind this particular weekend. Well that's it so far theirs big things in the planning for next year.