The truth is the last few months I (Lisa) have been focused on rehabilitating an extremely painful shoulder injury, with a number of projects sidelined during a process that has inevitably left me feeling a bit ….OLD.
In contemplation i’ve concluded the process of aging might be a bit like the Elisabeth Kubler Ross’s 5 stages of grief: Denial / Anger / Bargaining / Depression / Acceptance. Wondering if the bargaining phase is where you contemplate botox? Negotiating with the creases of time that inevitably make an appearance on our skin.
The old shoulder injury had a few lessons to teach me, slow it down clown may have been one of those…..no better place to do that than in the temperate climate on the beautiful beaches of Tauranga.
F A M I L Y F A V E S
C l i m b i n g t h e M o u n t
We arrived in Tauranga mid-morning Tuesday after a traffic free roadie from Auckland with three days up our sleeve to explore and relax before our friends wedding day on Friday. The first thing on our agenda - a hike up the Mount.
This wasn’t quite the pleasant family walk we anticipated, under-prepared to combat the heat with the hydration and food required to stabilise junior Beadle. We arrived at the top feeling rather warm and rather relieved. This is a busy track with lots of families and lots of little tackers striding along (passed us) with enthusiasm …
The views from the top are truly spectacular, well worth the effort made by all family members to get up there.
T h e S t r a n d R e s e r v e
When it came to Tauranga - we had minimal knowledge of the city centre so it was an unexpected surprise to discover The Strand with its stunning waterfront area including tidal steps, a pontoon and spacious play zones.
The bronze statues of the much loved Hairy Maclary storybook characters from Dame Lynley Dodd were a big hit.
The waterfront area was a peaceful and picturesque oasis when we were visited, a great spot to sit and relax under the watchful gaze of ‘Scarface Claw.’
T h e B e a c h
Temperatures during our handful of days in Tauranga were in the twenties during the day and very mild overnight, quite simply it was summer/swimming weather - a bit of a shock in April for us southern folk. A pleasant surprise for my heat seeking self but Nick, well if you know him he has an affinity for skinny black jeans and the cold…….
We loved our time on the beaches at Papamoa and Mount Maunganui where you can walk for miles enjoying the sand and the surf. As far as relaxation goes - beach time is at the top of family favourites with shell collecting, sand castles, and the rhythmic roar of the ocean lulling us into holiday ‘bliss’.
N o r f o l k P i n e L o v e
How spectacular are the structural Norfolk Pines dotted along the coast?
A i r b n b B l i s s
How much does great accommodation provide the context for a memorable holiday? As usual I spent far too much time pouring over Airbnb looking for a rental that would provide a comfortable home-base for our time in Tauranga. We found a fantastic place and lovely host Jo in Papamoa that ticked all the boxes and some.
P r a y i n g M a n t i s
The Praying Mantis is not common in Dunedin but we saw a few up North, one in our Tauranga lounge which was relocated outdoors and another unlucky Auckland based mantis who was consumed by a cat….
S u b u r b a n s t a r s
M t M a u n g a n u i ( M a u a o) B a s e T r a c k
This walk is a 3.4 km track around the base of Mt Maunganui, we started from the harbour side and what an idyllic wander beside the ocean, past ancient Pohutukawa trees in the late afternoon sun.
F O O D I E F A V E S
F o r b r e a k i e : HENRY & TED (Papamoa beach) Fresh local produce on the plate and great coffee made for a special birthday breakie on leaving day.
F o o d i e G o o d n e s s : TAY STREET STORE (Mt Maunganui)
Some really interesting local produce available here along with great coffee, we particularly enjoyed real fruit icecreams made from coconut icecream and the seedy crackers from local business Sage & Grace.
P l a n t B a s e d : GEORGE CAFE (Ocean Beach Rd - Omanu)
It doesn’t look much from the outside but inside an impressive array of really interesting vegan/vegetarian options are part of the menu.
Picture below a whole pear baked into a lightly spiced chocolatey loaf.
F o r c o f f e e : EIGHTY EIGHT CAFE (Mount Maunganui) This cafe located at 88 Maunganui Road was buzzing with activity every time we drove past. We enjoyed an afternoon coffee there and the baked goods on offer looked amazing.
A w e d d i n g u n d e r t h e w a l n u t t r e e s
The main purpose for our visit to Tauranga was to attend the wedding ceremony of our friends at Black Walnut near Te Puna. What an amazing venue with 5 acres of woodland & gardens featuring of course black walnut trees and a contemporary purpose built black barn for the reception venue.
It was like something out of a movie as music played, the afternoon sunlight filtering through the foliage as the bride walked slowly through the woodlands to meet her groom. Every so often you would hear the soft plop as a walnut made it’s autumnal journey from the trees overhead ( ideally not encountering any unsuspecting scalps on the way).
A special day with special people and a great way to finish up our time in Tauranga.