25 September 2014


Each year the Mabin family open part of their property, planted in daffodils, to the public as a fund-raiser for Plunket.

This began 40 years ago and now continues every September (it used to be biennial i.i.r.c.) with them developing the area more and more each year.

There is no entry charge - you simply drive right in.  You only pay for any daffodils that you pick into your Mabin-mongrammed blue bucket.  This year pick-your-own stems cost $4 for 30 and are wrapped in cellophane and ribbon by a Plunket volunteer.  That's the fundraiser part but there is so much more to the experience than that.



You are free to wander in and out of the daffodil beds, over bridges, around ponds, to the full extent of the fences.  You can imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in such a place.

Cows and sheep flank one end of the daffodil garden and it is a wonderful opportunity for preschoolers to hear and see these animals up close instead of the noises parents make for them whilst reading a book.  We also saw ducks, swans and a heron around the waterways too.



There is a (very high) tree house and tyre swing for the children; and a log cabin furnished with Cape Cod chairs to sit in, on the end of one of the ponds, for old and young alike.  We could all imagine taking some time out with music or a book and just sitting (and possibly falling asleep in the sun if it were our own!).  



You look beyond the property to the snow-capped mountains on one side; and even the fast-moving woosh of trucks and vehicles passing via the main road on the other kept the youngest little boy amused.

You are welcome to bring your picnic lunch; and they also have coffees and ice creams to buy in the kiosk. Toilet facilities are provided and it is no longer a long-drop but flushing toilets with running water and even soap to wash hands!


Taniwha is an escape, a step back in time to childhood abandon and the calming effects of nature.  

We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to make more family memories here again this year.



Here are our suggestions for what to take if you are wanting to make some memories of your own:

  • gumboots or sturdy shoes (some areas can be quite muddy)
  • a warm jacket or coat (it can get a bit chilly)
  • plastic bags (if you want to take your shoes off at the end of your visit and keep your car clean)
  • a picnic lunch or a morning tea
  • picnic mat (although there are one or two places with seating)
  • something to stand your flowers in if you want to keep them in water on your trip home
  • a camera (optional but a great opportunity to get photos of your family)



Talking about photos, this year was the first year they ran a photography competition; and the children were heartily encouraged to enter by one of the volunteers.  So at what was supposed to be the end of our day each child quickly shot off to take their 3 snaps; and we stopped off at the Unichem pharmacy in Waipukurau with our entry forms, where the photographs were printed at no charge (and would be picked up for the competition by the Mabin's).  Now that's good old country service if I ever experienced it.

6 of the 18 images are in this post (yes we entered some of Atlas' even though he was ho-hum about them; and I threw some in there too - more because I wanted to support the Mabin's and hope that they may be able to use them).

Hawke's Bay
28 August 2014

So you've cycled up some of Marine Parade perhaps and continued around the Port north-bound.  You will eventually come to this playground and another of Rotary's community projects - the older children's metal-framed play place in Ahuriri.  

Many people use this walkway with their pooches, via pedal power, jogging, pushing a pram or just strolling; and it's not hard to see why.  You have a view and the sound of the gently pounding ocean, as well as the mountains in the distance.



Next door to the older children's play area (photo below) is one for the younger ones with the usual swings, see-saws, slides, as well as climbing frames, monkey bars, and merry-go-rounds.






The 14 years and older children's metal play yard.



While there is a low stone wall separating the playgrounds from the pathway and roads, there is just the path on the seaward side.  Water seems to hold some sort of magnetism for our younger children in particular so you may find yourself having to play 'goalie' on the path to keep yours in the playground and stop them from racing down the banks too - just saying.


Look at the snow on those hills, on a bright sunny winter's day - simply stunning.



Seagulls are almost synonymous with the beach, and hearing them inland reminds you we are surrounded by water still.  Quite cheekily they will often walk right up to you at a picnic table and start swalking for what you are eating.  We don't find them a nuisance - they're just characters; and they will scatter if you shoo them away.



Thanks to all the folks of the Rotary Club of Ahuriri for focussing on the community and bringing it together through play & recreation.


Hawke's Bay
14 August 2014

Remember in our second Marine Parade post I spoke of the seaward pathway that ran alongside the places profiled, well that is part of a Rotary project, and our final post in this series wouldn't be complete without paying homage to the good works they have done in the community.

Not only does this cycle and pathway run from Awatoto in the south to Napier Port in the north, but it continues around past the port to Ahuriri too.

Here is one last north to south tour of Marine Parade.


The beginning of the track by the surf club and before Ocean Spa (a commercial pool facility).



Just one aspect of the views - this one's at the playground.



The Junior bike track, coffee cart and Danish ice cream stand (not pictured) are south of the playground.



A sculpture, Ecliptic, by David Trubridge, which in my mind looks like the Stargate is south of the junior bike track.  You can just begin to see the tip of Cape Kidnappers on the far right.  Further on from this is the National Aquarium.



There are several shaded picnic areas (some with bbq) which would be a great place for families to meet especially in summer.  The children could cycle or kick around a ball or do whatever they wanted on the expansive green spaces; while the adults enjoyed each others company.  It should be noted that the beach is not a swimming beach.  The sea floor of the beach was greatly altered by the 1931 earthquake and now there is a very dangerous rip.  Another reason for the cycle and pathway - to encourage people to use that and go no further onto the stony shores.



Out on it's lonesome at the southern end is the Gilray Fountain.  Recently recast and re-installed it continues to be a solitary place to sit; or if you are game to kick off your heels - to wade around in the water at the base.



Further south is the council dumping station, toilet block & car park, in case you were looking for that.  You are allowed to stay for one night at no charge only though, as the general council policy is against freedom camping in their backyard.

Hawke's Bay