Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘observatory’

First stop on our tour was to be Baylys Beach, which is one the west coast just outside of Dargaville, at the north of the Kaipara harbour.  All we knew about Dargaville was that according to some very hand-painted signs stuck on lamp-posts around Auckland they occasionally hold a ‘Burnout Comp’ for cash prizes up there.  To most people (who don’t drive ridiculously kevved up cars)  this is not the most enticing piece of tourist information, so why would we go there?  All will be revelead.  But before we could set off there was some serious packing to do.

Wednesday morning and I’d got the whole day off, whereas Emily had not and was packed off to school for the morning.  We’d told the school that we were taking Emily out for 3 and 1/2 days for a trip with friends from overseas.  They were supportive as ever which is good because they really didn’t have a choice!

The only job we’d not managed to do was for Josie to attack my barnet with the clippers.  Just in case you are not familiar with cockney rhyming slang that means my hair… barnet fair – hair, see?  Anyway… Josie had to do some work which had taken up most of the morning, so I chucked the camping gear in the car and the roofbox.  Then she headed out to get some supplies and time was ticking on.  There was only one thing for it – “Rob, you’re cutting my hair”.  Anyone, who knows my friend Rob and how far back we go and the horrendous things we used to do to each other (ok the horrendous things we used to do to Rob), knows that entrusting him to act upon my fair locks with a set of clippers is a mark of how much our relationship has matured over the years.  Rob had never cut anyone’s hair before so I talked him through it based on understanding the theory of hairdressing and remembering what it FEELS like to have a professional do it.  Remarkably his little venture didn’t result in comedy bald patches or tramlines or a big err appendage being shaved into the back of my head which some people may have expected.

Freshly shawn and with all shopping and packing done, we shipped out and headed North.  The journey was only a couple of hours and we headed north on SH1 aiming for Brynderwyn, where we were to head west on SH12 until we hit Dargaville.

We’d been up this way before early on when we visited the Kauri Museum and whilst we weren’t planning to go back there, we certainly hoped to see some more of these magnificent trees on this trip.

Once past the Kauri museum we were into uncharted territory – for us at least.  We were now into parts of New Zealand that we’d not seen before.  From here on in – everything was new to all of us.  Very exciting!

The camp site at Baylys beach is a lovely little site and it was expectedly quiet for this point in the season.  We got a lovely flat pitch overlooking the trampoline and very ‘kiwi’ playground.  Having Rob and Natalie along in their van was brilliant because it meant we had built in baby-sitters when pitching and packing away the tent.  On arrival we were pleased to see colorful bunting all around the place.  It wasn’t until we made a closer inspection that we realised the bunting strung everywhere – walls, lamp-posts, trees – was actually a string of colorful bras.  According to the site owner they are the aftermath of a world record attempt to create the longest chain of bras. World Record Attempt – Longest Chain of Bras

The camp site is just a few minutes walk down to the actual beach which is a typical west coast surf beach.  Stunning, expansive, rugged and beautiful.  Also a public road for those with the vehicles and nerves to drive on sand.  It was blowing a fair breeze when we took a look so we didn’t stop for long (it was a good exfoliation of the legs) but we’d certainly be happy to spend some time there again in less windy conditions.

I already mentioned that we weren’t there for the burnout competitions.  No – for us the entire point of stopping off at Baylys beach was to visit Skydome, a mini-observatory open to the paying public.  Unfortunately the weather didn’t understand our intentions so wasn’t playing along.  It was the thickest cloud cover we’ve seen for ages.  There was not a scrap of sky showing, no moon and absolutely nothing to look at.  We were ever so disappointed, but the lovely lady who owns the place does a daytime/cloudy sky tour.  Basically she tells you all about the sky and stars and the big telescope and how it works.  It’s a real credit to her that she managed to get us excited about looking at stars even without any stars to look at.  We’ll certainly be going back up again when the sky is a bit clearer.

Read Full Post »