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Moehau Community

Posted on 30 April, 2019 at 5:50 Comments comments (0)

In the course of my work for the bamboo society,  I have had a reason to visit the Moehau Community near the tip of the Coromandel Peninsular.  If you have a map, look for "Sandy Bay"  on the eastern side of the Coromandel,  near the tip.  Moehau is the highest part of the whole Coromandel Peninsular.  The Moehau Community  is just above Sandy Bay, and just below Moehau. Moehau is a mountain, but we don't say Moehau Mountain, or Mt Moehau.  We just say "Moehau". ... Just as if he was a neighbour or a friend.


The old farmhouse is the centre of the whole community.  Now that most members have their own dwellings it is not used for sleeping so much in winter.  In summer many visitors come and so then this house is full.


 

The drive begins at Sandy Bay and ends here.  It is rough but adequate.


This view is to the west and Moehau.  Moehau is not visible from anywhere where I walked on the farm.  However it is close, up behund the hills in this foto.  The bamboo is called "Oldhamii"


It takes a lot of time to keep running bamboo under proper control.  This lot..... called Henonis, is being a handful.


The stems of the bamboo [culms] are not very large here.  Many would think then that this was Aureus. Henonis and Aureus are similar. but Henonis can grow quite large.  That was the clue.  When looking at the largest culms it was clear it could not be Aureus.


Someone has woven the bamboo into a fence.  But the bamboo quickly gets attacked by fungus and starts to get old and weak.


Past the gate, down this slope, are some much larger culms of bamboo.


The bamboo has overun the fence and then been turned back.


At the base of some culms, you see some toroise-shell effect.  That is quite useful to me in the workshop, as I can make little insruments out of it.


There is a lot of work to do to tidy up this bamboo.



A member of the community uses this place for a dwelling and workshop.  What a great place to live!


The old orchard still produces fruit, and considering it is not sprayed or pruned, it does very well.



The Community farm goes up the valley much further.  This is as far as I went.   The view is breathtaking.



The Coromandel hills quickly aquire a thick covering of scrub.  This is the New Zealand term for thick bushy plant cover.  The plants are mostly Manuka, and in some places Matagouri.  The Manuka can be used as firewood.  The flowers give valuable honey.  Matagouri is so prickly you don't want to go near it.


A cottage and a resident of the community.


Cheers Chris the Pipemaker

A days outing to Ruapehu

Posted on 9 January, 2019 at 20:45 Comments comments (0)

Mount Ruapehu is just a few hours drive away.   You take the Napier-Taihape road.  That gets you to Waiouru.  Waiouru sits under the mountain. 


After we cross through the range of hills joining the Kawekas to the Ruahines, we come to a high level plateau of good country.  This view looks along to the Ruahines.  We are just less than 1000m above sea-level here. 




Just above the trees we get a view of the eastern side of Ruapehus from more than forty kilometres away.


This view shows Ruapehu not far from Ohakune, the carrot growing capital of New Zealand.  Highfields with volcanic soil means low summer temperatures with lots of sunlight.  Perfect for carrots.





This is how Ruapehu appears from the west.




The Mountain is volcanic.  Where there has been a large amount of volcanic rock fallen from the air, the rivers cut into this deeply.  The rail-line has to bridge over these deep gorges.  This bridges dates from the first decade of the twentieth century.





Steel was the often chosen building material of that time.  This viaduct is one of New Zealands best examples of a steel reilway viaduct. It is one of the biggest.





Right down the bottom is the streambed, of large and small volcanic rocks.




This is bridge number one hundred and seventy nine, presumably counting from Auckland.  It is called the Makatote viaduct as it crosses the Makatote stream.  Pronounce the Maori as if it were Japanese.  "Ma-ka-to-te".



The bush around here has some big trees.  They are not as big as the ones near Ball's Clearing..... but they are not small.




I just had to fotograf this big Kenworth toiling up the hill.





And whatever that Kenworth was carrying could have been sent by train!



While Ruapehu is hidden from sight by foothills, Ngarahoe [Nga-ra-ho-e] at 2200m  [against Ruapehu's 2740M] comes into view.




We are at the "Top of the Bruce".  From here alpine lifts takes skiers up into the mountains in winter.  In summer the area seems so barren.



There is still some snow left, and a good smattering of winter accomodation,  also used quite a bit in summer.




On  winter's weekend, the place is full of people learning to ski.




In winter it is advertised as "Happy Valley".  Can't call it that now!  




A lot of money has been spent here to keep Aucklanders returning and spending.





What a spendid view of the valley below.


The strangest thing for me was.......  there were no lunch places open as far as I could find.  I had to return to "National Park Village" to eat.


Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.