One year of blogging

“As much as I love international travel I think it’s important (and cheaper) to get out there and explore one’s own backyard. So I’m starting this blog to encourage myself to get out there and do more things on my days off. So join me as I begin my journey to see what this great country has to offer…”

I wrote these words exactly one year ago today – January 16th 2014.

Call it a New Years Resolution or just a goal. Last year I decided that I wanted to do more with my days off work and get out of the house. So I created this travel blog to encourage and document my adventures around my home country of Aotearoa New Zealand.

My first was a day trip to Hobbiton – the location for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. It was a great start and was definitely one of my favourite outings from last year.

At Hobbiton - January 17th 2014

At Hobbiton – January 17th 2014

Despite living in Auckland for 6 years I am embarrassed to admit I had never been to places like the Auckland Art Gallery, Bastion Point and the Botanical Gardens. This blog gave me a reason to go and cross them off my list.

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

I also had a reason to revisit places like Devonport, Takapuna, Birkenhead, Orewa, Auckland Zoo, MOTAT, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Wintergardens, and the SKY Tower.

When I had 2 or 3 days off work I tried to get out of Auckland. During the year I visited Coromandel township, Waitomo Caves, Hamilton and Wellington.

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave - Waitomo

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave – Waitomo

I could post when I liked, there was no pressure. Some nice people read my posts. I helped a couple of people along the way like the lady who wanted to know the gate closing hours for Michael Joseph Savage Memorial / Bastion Point.

I don’t know where this blog will go this year or where it will take me. My only plan is to do more than I did last year and enjoy myself.

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic and prosperous 2015!

New Year Fireworks - SKY Tower

New Year Fireworks – SKY Tower

Bastion Point

On Sunday after walking the Port of Auckland’s Red Fence Heritage Walk from the Voyager Maritime Museum to the Ports of Auckland Building I continued around the waterfront towards Bastion Point and Mission Bay.

Starting where the Red Fence Heritage Walk finished

Starting where the Red Fence Heritage Walk finished

Walk, run or bike along the waterfront

Walk, run or bike along the waterfront

Ngapiri Road Boatsheds

Ngapiri Road Boatsheds

Bastion Point is a piece of land in Orakei, Auckland, which overlooks the Waitemata Harbour.

View over Waitemata Harbour

Views over Waitemata Harbour

Views over Waitemata Harbour

Bastion Point’s name in Māori is Takaparawhau. In 1886, the Crown took ownership of 13 acres of land at Bastion Point from Māori landowners for the purpose of defence. In 1941, when it was decided that Bastion Point was no longer needed for defence it was gifted to the Auckland City Council for use as a reserve rather than being returned to its traditional Māori owners.

In 1976, the Crown announced it planned to develop Bastion Point for housing. The Orakei Māori Action Committee organised a peaceful occupation of remaining Crown owned land. This occupation lasted for 507 days and ended on the 25th May 1978, when 800 New Zealand Police and Army personnel were used to forcibly remove the occupiers. 222 protestors were arrested.

Bastion Point is the site of the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, a mausoleum and memorial gardens for the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. The mausoleum is surrounded by a memorial reserve, which includes a sunken garden and a reflective pool marked off by colourful flowerbeds and hedges.

Construction began on the memorial in June 1941 and it was officially opened in March 1943.

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Michael Joseph Savage Memorial

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial

There is vehicle access from Hapimana Street off Tamaki Drive. The gates close at 8:30pm and open again at 6:30am. Bastion Point lookout is stop number 1 on the Red Circle route for the Auckland Hop On, Hop Off Explorer bus. There is also an uphill pedestrian path from Mission Bay (it is quite steep though.)