NZ Local TimeMonday, 16 Jul 201812:55:29 AM
Sand dollars on the black sand beach near the Raglan holiday park.
Comment by josh — November 27, 2006 @ 7:36 pm
Saturday morning we headed for Raglan, a small (pop 2500) town on the west coast of New Zealand. Raglan is known for having some of the best surf in NZ and the world. It took us about three hours to reach Raglan driving south-west from Auckland. We found a holiday park (camp ground) on a small island just south-west of town. We set up camp, and then headed for the nearby beach, about 50 meters from our camp site. It was a black sand beach, and we saw sand dollars everywhere. This beach had no waves for surfing. The surf beaches were a few km out of town, and we would head there in the morning.
Another update tomorrow. Right now I am working on getting a photo gallery up so I can link to a photo gallery with more than just one picture per day.
Comment by Clara — November 27, 2006 @ 9:47 pm
I found Raglan on the map. You’re getting a little further from “home” on each trip. I can see sand dollars in the picture. Thanks for all the photos and descriptions.
Comment by josh — November 27, 2006 @ 10:37 pm
Raglan is further, but was much quicker to get to than Port Jackson.
Comment by Peg Moore — November 27, 2006 @ 11:32 pm
WOW!!! When your site first came up on the monitor, my eyes got big at the sight of your picture! It’s breathtaking! Did you take it? I’m not sure I ever knew there was such a thing as a black sand beach. And I didn’t know sand dollars were up on the beach like that. What amazing things to experience. I found Raglan on the map, too, but not the little island. When you “set up camp,” what all does that entail? A fire? Cooking? Or mostly just sleeping in the van? And when you said, “. . . we would head there in the morning,” did you mean you actually did make it to the surf/waves? Rent boards and surf? I want video footage! Hehe.
Comment by beth — November 28, 2006 @ 3:52 am
The beaches are black sand because of the volcanic soil (most of the mountains in the north island are old volcanoes). The other beaches that we went to were black sand as well- I collected some sand samples!
I also identified my first New Zealand tree – the Rangiora, or Brachyglottis repanda, belonging to the family of tree daisies. The leaves of this tree are distictively large and broad, the margins having a few pointed to rounded teeth. On the underside there is a dense layer of white hairs that makes the bottom of the leaf feel velvety. This tree is typically found in lowland forests throughout the North Island and the northern part of the South Island. Rangiora has the largest leaves of the tree daisy family.
Ok, so enough about my tree. After staying in Raglan and seeing the surfer beaches (we didn’t surf- these beaches had huge waves and rocky shores, making them a bit intimidating), we went to another beach for a short swim and then headed towards Bridal Veil falls. New Zealand boasts that these falls are higher than Niagara Falls! The falls started out as just a small creek, then all of a sudden poured out of the forest down a sheer cliff, dropping 165 feet (55 meters) to a deep pool far below! Very impressive.
That night we staying in Kawhia, a small town with a population of- I don’t know- not alot. The next day we went to Ocean Beach, a beautiful, wild beach that was so immense but completely deserted! The wind and waves were fierce, but the natural beauty was overwhelming – miles of sand dunes and a long stretch of flat black sand beach. Afterwards we headed to Hamilton, the largest city inland in NZ, and visited the gardens. Besides a extensive rose garden, we saw ‘paradise gardens’- typical Chinese, Japanese, Indian, English, American, and Italian gardens. The Indian garden was my favorite, the American ‘Californian’ garden left something to be desired.
Comment by Peg Moore — November 28, 2006 @ 11:27 am
Fun to hear from you, Beth! I love all your descriptiveness. Especially Ocean Beach–wild, immense, deserted, fierce. Awesome, in the truest sense of the word! I had to laugh, though, because I didn’t realize (till I got to the end and saw your name) that you were the one writing. I thought that was pretty neat that Josh was so excited and detailed about “his” tree! Now that I know it was you writing, it seems totally natural. I’m happy for you–that you’re getting to experience all this nature! XOXOX
Comment by josh — November 28, 2006 @ 5:18 pm
Setting up camp is different depending where we are. Normally it means we park, set up the van for sleeping (put down the middle seats, pull out the bed etc.), Andy sets up his tent, and then we cook either on a fire, or on a gas stove we have.
Comment by kriz johnson — January 10, 2007 @ 12:20 am
It’s funny, as I was reading Bethany’s comment I could immediately tell it was her when she started talking about the tree. Even though I always default in my brain to Josh being the one speaking from NZ.
“Botany of Desire”
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