Auckland, Balloons, Drinks, PhotoHunt, Port Douglas, Queensland, Travel - Australia, Travel - New Zealand

Photo Hunts – Busy & Machine(s)

I’ts been a very long time since I’ve completed a Photo Hunt post, so I’ll be aiming to catch up with some previous photo hunts that I previously missed, as well as trying to keep up with the latest ones once more … not sure how long it’ll last, but here goes …

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This week’s theme is ”Busy” and here is a very Busy photo of colourful balloons at the Auckland annual concert, Coca-Cola’s Christmas in the Park.

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Back on 12 March the theme was ”Machine(s)” – here is a gentleman in the Port Douglas outdoor markets cranking out sugar cane juice on his industrial strength juicing Machine … seriously delishimo (in my eyes) with a squeeze of lime added to offset the high sugar content!!!  I’m salivating just thinking of that icy sweet nectar!

Port Douglas 4


ABC Wednesday, Birds, Christmas Ornaments, Gannets, Napier & Hawkes Bay, Travel - New Zealand

ABC Wednesday – G

Here is my choice for this week’s “ABC Wednesday” – brought to you by the Letter “G” … Gannets from the colony at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:

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And this week’s “one I prepared earlier, stitchy/crafty content” is “Golden Garland” ornament from the 2005 JCS Christmas ornie issue:

Golden Garland


Cross Stitch, Exchanges, Needlerolls, Photo Hunt, PhotoHunt, Travel - New Zealand

Photo Hunt – Stripes (9 October)

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The theme on 9 October was ”Stripes” and here are some stripes on the skirts of a Maori cultural group in Rotorua, New Zealand.  The Maori name for the skirt is “piupiu”, and it is a traditional item of clothing made from flax leaves.  I love the swishing sound it makes when it swirls and the dried flax hit each other.  If you want to see some traditional piupiu, you can find some here on the Te Papa Museum website.

ROT-Maori Cultural group_0002

And in keeping with trying to find stitching/needlework examples of the weekly themes, here is the unmade needleroll that I stitched for an exchange years ago – it was a self-made design by using some elements from other designs and making some parts up … I was quite pleased with the end result.

Melanies Exchange for Paula

Cross Stitch, Finishes, Freebies, Great Pumpkin Challenge 2010, Halloween, Lizzie Kate, Travel, Travel - New Zealand

Still in New Zealand

I wish I could say I was here doing lots of stitching, but I can’t truthfully tell you what I’ve been doing other than sitting in front of the gogglebox and computer and just letting the hours of the day disappear before my very eyes.  I’ve got the car boot filled with boxes of junk to take to the Salvation Army over the next few days, and some not-so-junk to be picked over by family friends – then the leftovers will also get taken to the Salvo’s.

The only stitching I’ve managed has taken place over the last 24 hours or so, and are as follows:

Nathalie-Chatrouille freebie
“Chatrouille” freebie by Nathalie
(the freebie is still available
Stitched on 32ct Merino hand-dyed Belfast linen by
with DMC threads (except I messed up and used 310 instead of 3799
for the cat and lettering … oops)

LizzieKate-Welcome Baby
“Welcome Baby” by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 28ct pink/white checked Graziano linen
with DMC threads
(have to say I MUCH prefer the boy’s version of this one!)
I still have to add the little rose button when I get home before framing

Here are a few piccies of Auckland from our first day of driving around after a visit to The Embroiderer … where we were VERY restrained and only bought two copies of this year’s JCS ornie magazine (Mum kindly treated me to my copy, as I’ve bought one for her the last few years).  Rightio, here are some snippets from Auckland:

Auckland skyline from the harbour bridge (north side)
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Kiwi (New Zealand) flag at Ponsonby
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Art sculpture at a city park in Auckland – these ‘buried’ buildings have always intrigued me
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Sidewalk mosaic with Polynesian style
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Rangitoto Island – an Auckland icon that will always make me think of home
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Auckland skyline from Doug Myer Robinson Park
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And a couple of Kiwi foods that we don’t often see in Australia …
first Kumara (Kiwi sweet potato), and then Tamarillos (known as the Kiwi tree tomato)
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Home & Family TO BE FIXED, Mt Ruapehu, skiing, snow, Travel, Travel - New Zealand

Volcanoes for Dot

Dot left a comment on my Santorini photo that she adores volcanoes, so here are a few more just especially for Dot!

Here is the club skifield I used to go to regularly (I used to be the Club Secretary) – this is Tukino skifield on Mt Ruapehu in the north island of New Zealand … and an active volcano!  After one particularly active period we had to spend hours and hours cleaning out the club rooms … you would not believe how hard ash is to remove, and how invasive it is, it gets everywhere!!  I have some wonderful memories of my times on that mountain with my skiing buddies … from back in the days when I was fit! 

The photo of me here, is my first ever skiing experience – what a hoot! 😀


In the next photo you can see a wee bit of steam up at the top – this is from our ash cleaning weekend … now you know what a skifield can look like in summer (note that our skifields in New Zealand are at a higher altitude in mountainous regions, and don’t have lush trees to ski around – they’re generally beautiful wide open spaces, often with exquisite views).

Tukino_0003 (2)

Tukino_0001 (2)

And this is how we’d have to get up the mountain in the first place – no tarsealed roads here, we had to dump our cars at the bottom then pile everything into our ‘mountain goat’ trucks and take a slow drive to the top. I few times we’d have to bring the bulldozer down and clear the road ahead of us due to heavy snowfall, and one night we finally had to give up and grab our backpacks and climb the rest of the way in thigh-high snow – I remember we arrived at the top just as the sun was coming up … that was an adventure and a half!


And the next few are ‘just for fun’ … not sure I should really be posting a piccie of our R18 snowman, but it has a nice shot of the volcano behind him! 😛 This is also from my first week’s holiday at the skifield, and was the start of oh so many afterwards! This photo is of Doreen, myself and Brenda … and our anatomically proud snowman! 😛

Here he is “in progress” …


Of course he doesn’t just look gorgeous from the front, he also had the cutest butt cheeks in the world LOL. Here’s Vicki’s Dad, Ross, and our snowman surveying the view and pondering the meaning of life… (I LOVE this shot!!)


And here is where we spent most of our time – our club rooms on Tukino … this is a photo of myself and Ross, Vicki’s Dad, off to the slopes 🙂


And … lucky last … “the gang’s all here” … a mandatory group shot of us from my first skiing week – here’s one of my adopted families, that of my very best friend Vicki. Sadly, Ross is no longer with us, but we had the BEST holidays and adventures when we were growing up – I’m incredibly blessed for having known them, and they’ve helped to shape me into the confident person that I am today 😀


Auckland, Photo Hunt, PhotoHunt, Scenic Sunday, Travel - New Zealand

Photo Hunt – Cuddly; & Scenic Sunday

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This week’s theme is ”Cuddly” and here are some cuddly lion cubs … don’t ya just wanna pick one up and give him a cuddle, or am I the only one?? 😛

Cuddly 1

Cuddly 2

Here is my choice for this week’s Scenic Sunday – this photo is in honour of my visit home this week … this is an old photo of yachts in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, with the sky tower in the background.  (It’s a scan of a print photo, so the quality isn’t fantastic.)

AKL-Waitemata harbour

Scenic Sunday

Photo Hunt, PhotoHunt, Queenstown, Travel - New Zealand

Photo Hunts – Fast & Undesirable

Unfortunately, during my ‘black fog’ blogging hiatus recently, I hadn’t realised that my “post-dated” posts had all run out, so I had a week without the Photo Hunt and other photo memes.  So today I’ve uploaded both last week’s and this week’s into one post.

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This week’s theme is ”Fast” and the jetboats on the Shotover River in Queenstown go pretty fast … I especially love being on them when they do the 360 degree spinning – great fun!!

ZQN-Shotover River_0004

Last week’s theme was ”Undesirable” and I think this is definitely Undesirable to my tastebuds! The birdlife at the Cairns bird park really love it, though … grubs, tiny fish and little titbits are a delicacy for our feathered friends – dinner’s ready, guys, come and get it!!  YUK!!!

Gross bird food

Flowers Trees & Gardens, Pohutukawa, Ruby Tuesday, Travel - New Zealand

Ruby Tuesday

Here is my choice for this week’s Ruby Tuesday – and you can’t get much more ruby red than this … this is the Pohutukawa tree, which is known as the NZ Christmas Tree, as the trees are festooned with flowers in December. I couldn’t settle on just one photo, so you get a couple of close-ups and what the trees can look like overall … just LOVE the Pohutukawa trees!

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Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday, Tauranga, Travel - New Zealand

Ruby Tuesday

Here is my choice for this week’s Ruby Tuesday – White water rafting on the Wairoa River, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.  According to a tourism website “Open just 28 days a year, the Wairoa River is one of New Zealand’s most exciting rivers for rafting or kayaking. The rapids start with simple grade two cascades and gradually build up to thundering grade five rapids.”


If you look closely, there I am tucked down towards the front of the raft on the left … thankfully I wasn’t the one that was thrown out of the raft and who is at the back of the raft clinging on for dear life!  It was a major rush doing this trip, but not one I’m keen to repeat again in a hurry – especially going over the waterfall!!!!!  In hindsight, perhaps not the perfect idea to try a grade 5 river on your first trip 😮

Anne Whitewater Rafting

Ruby Tuesday