For Māori, the rise of the Matariki or Pleiades constellation in the celestial skies above Aotearoa New Zealand signals a change in season - the arrival of the winter solstice and the countdown to spring and summer. Matariki was an important event on the lunar calendar that traditional Māori followed for planting, fishing and celebrations.
Matariki celebrations have evolved over time. Auckland local communities are now actively focusing on reviving old Māori customs and culture in a contemporary way.
This painting celebrates my love of fishing and sea food gathering. It is called Ko te ika o Matariki. The fish of Matariki.
The Exhibition and Beveridge Tracks take you from Exhibition Drive in Titirangi to the Arataki Visitor Centre, the gateway to the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park.
This track runs through beautiful native bush and is mostly a gentle gradient, with a few steep sections where cyclists may need to dismount. It’s a very safe walking and family cycling route.
You will see a rustic pipe adjacent to the track which was built in 1901 that carried water from Upper Nihotupu Dam to a pump station in Western Springs, Auckland.
There are expansive views of the Manukau Harbour and Lower Nihotupu Dam once you reach the top and some very interesting exhibitions and nature activities at the Arataki Visitor Centre.
Take a day trip from Auckland City out to Tunnel Point campground between Karekare and Whatipu.
This is a 20-30 minute trek through the Pohutakawa Glade at Karekare, heading south along the beach, then following the old benched railway line. You walk through the tunnel to reach a gorgeous secluded spot amongst dune wetlands and towering coastal cliffs. There is a composting toilet and plenty of flat area to pitch a tent or just have a picnic. This is a great day walk where you see Auckland’s West Coast at it’s very best.
Visit Auckland Council for further details regarding camping fees.
Title: Kauri, Oil on canvas, diptych.
I painted this in response to Kauri tree die-back which is a disease affecting our Kauri trees throughout the Waitakere Ranges on the West Coast of Auckland. As yet there is no known cure and management of tracks in and around Kauri trees is on-going by Auckland City Council. This my homage to our "Kings of the Forest".
This is a very easy achievable walk into a beautiful Nikau grove next to the Marawhara stream. A hidden gem.
This beach is quite remote and is on the west coast of Auckland. The Whatipu area is a scientific reserve. There are many rare and endangered birds, such as dotterels that can be seen nesting in the sand dunes, next to several lakes which are full of unique wetland plants. To the south is the Manukau Harbour and the north Karekare beach.
Cutter Rock is a popular vantage point for fishing during the summer months. The day we visited this area it was simply stunning with very few people and an absolutely pristine natural environment.
We were welcomed to the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society recently.
We wanted to support the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society as they are a conservation watchdog for the Waitakere Ranges and the West Coast.
The Society’s fundamental goals are: