Illuminate – No Man’s Land

As part of Anzac Weekend commemorations, Auckland Museum screened composer John Psathas‘ No Man’s Land onto the Northern Facade of the Museum.


Anzac Day, which is held on April 25th each year is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that recognises all New Zealanders and Australians who have served during wars, conflict and peacekeeping operations. Anzac Day originally honoured those who served in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) and fought at Gallipoli during World War I.

Psathas’ project features 120 musicians from over 20 countries and brings together musicians descended from opposing forces of World War I and reunites them in musical solidarity on the sites where their grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought a century ago.

No Man’s Land screened as part of the New Zealand Festival of Arts in March earlier this year.

Click here to learn more about the project.


From Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April, a special 20-minute version of the film was projected onto the Northern Facade of the Museum. It played as loop from 6:30pm through to 10pm.

Also viewable from the Auckland Museum, is the Sky Tower, which was lit up red to commemorate Anzac Day. A 13 metre red poppy was displayed on the south-east side of the tower.


Hunua Falls

Hunua Falls is part of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park.


To get to Hunua Falls before Hunua Village, turn left into White Road and then left into Falls Road and then follow this road. During the summer (daylight savings) the gates are open 6am to 9pm; winter 6am to 7pm.

It is a short walk to the 30 metre waterfall, which is part of the Wairoa River. There is a large beautiful photo frame, which looks out to the waterfall, providing a photo opportunity.

There are two short walks. The Hunua Falls Upper Lookout Walk, is a 30 minute return walk through bush to a lookout platform. The Hunua Falls Lower Lookout Walk is a 15 minute return walk that takes visitors to the opposite side of the waterfall pool.

Both walks are accessible by crossing a footbridge over the river and turning to the right. It is also possible to view the waterfall from the footbridge.






There is a large car park, toilet facilities and picnic tables in the clearing before the large photo frame.

While swimming in the river is possible, swimming in the pool below the waterfall is not recommended as the pool is up to 19 metres deep. Tragically there have been 9 drownings since 1980, so please take caution.

Castaways Resort

Castaways Resort is a cliff top resort overlooking Karioitahi Beach.


Castaways Resort

The resort is located at 685 Karioitahi Road, Karioitahi Beach, Waiuku. Approximately 45 minutes drive from Auckland Airport.

My flatmates and I had lunch at the Agave Restaurant, which is open 7 days from 9.30am till late for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

For lunch I had the Southern Fried Chicken Wrap, a Louisiana style crispy chicken, sundried tomato tortilla with frijole, corn kernels, cos lettuce, tomato salsa, served with guacamole, sour cream and rocket. Sandip had the Beer Battered Fish n Chips served with chunky fries, a light salad, tartare sauce and fresh cut lemon. Yana had the Cajun Chicken Gourmet Burger with bacon, aioli, lettuce and tomato, served with chunky fries.


Southern Fried Chicken Wrap

Beer Battered Fish n Chips

Beer Battered Fish n Chips

Cajun Chicken Burger

Cajun Chicken Gourmet Burger

For dessert I had Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, a ginger and oat crumble topping served with plum ice cream. Sandip had Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee with vanilla bean ice cream and pistachio biscotti. Yana had the Castaways’ Chocolate Brownie served with Manuka honey ice cream & spiced berry compote.

To drink I had Clifftop Passion, a cocktail made with 42 Below passionfruit vodka, passionfruit pulp, Cointreau, apple juice, lime and soda. Sandip and Yana had each a mocktail – a Blushing Sunset and Kiwi Mango Delight.


Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee

Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee


Castaways’ Chocolate Brownie

While we were only there for lunch and to admire the views, the resort also has the Bersanti Day Spa for pampering and they offer adventure activities including archery, blokarting, clay target shooting, kayaking, volleyball, and 4 wheel drive tours.

Accommodation wise they have ocean front studios, chalets and glam camping options.


Karioitahi Beach

Karioitahi Beach

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

The Manukau Heads Lighthouse is located on the Awhitu Peninsula on the south side of the Manukau Heads.

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

The lighthouse was originally built in 1874. It was demolished in 1986 and was rebuilt using the original plans and some materials from the original building, including the original 2.5 tonne dome. The restored lighthouse reopened in 2006 on its current location near to the Manukau Heads Signal Station platform.

It is approximately 45 minutes drive from Waiuku. It is well signposted from Waiuku.

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

The gates are open daily from 9am to 5pm. Entry is free but there is a donation box inside the lighthouse to assist with maintenance costs. Also when I visited there were souvenir tea-towels on sale for $15.

From the carpark it is short walk up around 120 steps to the lighthouse and a viewing platform. There are toilet facilities by the carpark.

The lighthouse tower is 240 metres above sea level. It offers views of the Waitakeres, Whatipu, Onehunga, Auckland city. On a clear day it is possible to see Mount Taranaki to the southwest.

It also overlooks the spot where 190 lives were tragically lost when the HMS Orpheus run aground on the Manukau bar in 1863.

View 1

View 2

View 3

Views from Manukau Heads Lighthouse balcony