Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Category: Arataki (page 1 of 2)

After the Rain

Clematis paniculata seed heads

Clematis paniculata seed heads

Clematis paniculata seed heads after the rain (which seems to be a permanent fixture). At Arataki Visitor Centre today.

Save the Kauri

Cleaning Station at Arataki Visitor Centre

Cleaning Station at Arataki Visitor Centre

Spray bottles of trigene await the visitor to a bush walk in the Waitakeres (and some paths are closed to prevent contamination). In combination with brushes (not visible in the picture) this is a measure to prevent the spread of the Kauri dieback disease, a soil borne disease (Phytophthora taxon Agathis, PTA) which is seriously threatening our remaining stands of kauri, an iconic native tree (agathis australis).

  • Clean your gear: remove soil before and after forest visits;
  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.

Read more about kauri dieback here and here.

In Praise of …

Framed

Framed

… ice cream and the beautiful Waitakere Ranges. Grandson Felix enjoys poses with a well deserved treat after walking the Beveridge track to the Arataki Visitor Centre.

The Taste Test

The Taste Test

Fog

Kereru -- New Zealand Woodpigeon

Kereru — New Zealand Woodpigeon

I had gone up to the Arataki Visitor Centre in the hope to get a few shots of misty scenery. But when I got there, I found myself surrounded by fog. Ready to return home, I spotted this woodpigeon resting on a branch of a kauri tree nearby: perfect background, with a mere hint of the bush-clad hills in the distance.

Auckland Green Gecko

Auckland Green Gecko

Auckland Green Gecko

Shown here in black and white – this is an Auckland Green Gecko (Naultinus elegans elegans), on display at the Arataki Visitor Centre. They are part of the native fauna of the Waitakeres, but I have yet to sight one in the wild, even though I live in the midst of kanuka trees, one of their favourite haunts.

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

Discoloured

Kauri Tree, Arataki Visitor Centre

Kauri Tree, Arataki Visitor Centre

This is a kauri tree at the Arataki Visitor Centre. It is all discoloured, looks like it might be dying. When I asked if this was an example of the “kauri dieback disease“, I was told it was not, and they are still trying to find the cause.

Kauri Tree, Arataki Visitor Centre

Kauri Tree, Arataki Visitor Centre

The View

Lower Nihotupu Reservoir

Lower Nihotupu Reservoir

Looking out from the Arataki Visitor Centre: Waitakerer Ranges with Lower Nihotupu reservoir. Manukau Harbour in the background.

Pou Whenua: Tiriwa at Arataki

Tiriwa

Tiriwa

Tiriwa is an ancester of the local Maori tribe, the Kawerau a Maki. Their name for the Waitakere Ranges is “Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa” (The Great Forest of Tiriwa). The main carver of this pou, situated out the back of the Arataki Visitor Centre, is Sunnah Thompson, showing a minimalist styling in this pou. A more elaborate version is seen on top of the pou in front of the centre.

Above the Clouds

Top of the Waitakeres

Top of the Waitakeres

We are at the lookout by the Arataki Visitor Centre, at about 400 metres above sea level. Below us the solid fog that dominated the weather on the southern fringe of the Auckland isthmus yesterday, in the distance the ridges of the Waitakere Ranges, and a blue sky with white clouds tops it all off.

Spare a thought for the numerous travellers who got stranded because of the fog. “An airport spokeswoman said 94 domestic departures, 102 domestic arrivals, 19 international departures and 17 international arrivals had been cancelled or delayed.”

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Winter Evening

View from Scenic Drive

View from Scenic Drive

The view from Scenic Drive just north of the Arataki Visitor Centre. The bush of the Waitakere Ranges in the foreground, the Lower Nihotupu Reservoir, and the Manukau Harbour. In the sky, the lower clouds have already lost the sun, whilst the higher clouds still get a faint pink.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

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