Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Zealand Central Plateau

New Zealand, North Island Central District Highlands
The central plateau of New Zealand's North Island where I grew up is a spectacular landscape and when I return for a visit now I find myself continually reaching for my camera. I grew up on the road between Taihape and Napier and in hot summers we swam in the Rangitikei river,  a spot now popular with tourists for white water rafting.

This year when I visited the distant blue hills were augmented by early autumn colours.

This little old church in a field to the north of Taihape led me to contemplate the life of our forefathers, those who settled this area in the 19th century.
Power pole and old shed
Church in a field near Taihape, Rangitikei District
When my parents settled in the area there was no power but in 1954 the farmers brought it in themselves. I remember Dad and our neighbours digging very deep holes on the clay ground outside the house for the power poles; perhaps one of my earliest memories.

Roads had been cut into the clay to allow farmers to settle the land and some of them, like the road below, continue to make work for the local council when heavy rain causes slips.
Roads cut into the steep clay hills

I missed the hills when I left home and I also missed the enormous cumulus clouds that so often drift overhead. Somehow clouds in other places are never quite the same.
Old main road, north of Taihape in the Rangitikei

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