Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Room 3 Camp March 2012 - Day Three

I had spent the Wednesday night fretting about the rain and checking the Met Service forecasts for the next day, and woke up on Thursday morning to glorious sunshine!!!

This made making breakfast and feeding the children a great experience.  We had a feast.  And then we made our lunches, jumped in the cars and drove down to the wharf.

We took the ferry from the Whitianga Wharf over to Ferry Landing.  As you can see from the photo above, the harbour water was very brown.  This was from the extraordinarly heavy rain the day and night before, washing mud, dirt and debrie down the hills, into the streams, rivers, harbours and out into the bay. 
The view back over Whitianga from the path up to Whitianga Rock.  That big block of buildings is opposite the Whitianga Hotel (to the left) and contains Dinos Pizza and Pasta Restaurant.

Then we walked up to Whitianga Rock, where once a fortified pa (Maori village that was used under attack) once stood.  The path was slippery after the rain and does need some maintainence.

We then walked down to Back Bay (not a bad track), where I made a stupid decision to walk up and over to Front Beach.  Not a good idea.  The track from Back Bay up to the top where there is an excellent lookout is hideous!!!!  It is poorly marked and maintained, and after the rain from the previous days, was down right dangerous.  That and the fact the teacher was far too unfit and nearly died from loss of breath!!!!  (Yep, that was me!!)  It was also a bit of a mistake because it took a lot longer than I had anticipated.  I had planned to do the walk several weeks before to confirm timings... but it rained the day I was to do that.  Oooops. 

After a brief morning tea stop, it was pretty much downhill on a well maintained track/stairs to the road at Front Beach.  Then we walked over to Flaxmill Bay where some indulged in a toilet stop, before we began the ascent to Shakespeare Cliff.

There is more than one way to get to the top of Shakespeare Cliff, and to go up we took the path on the edge of the cliff.... it's mostly stairs.  Great for the butt and thighs.  We got to the top to take in the view and have our lunch and fill out the relevant page in our camp books.


And then we came back down, made our way back to Ferry Landing (via the shop for an ice block) and onto the ferry.

On the otherside, after more toilet stops, we went into the Mercury Bay Museum, housed in what used to be the dairy factory in times long gone.

This museum is a treasure trove, covering everything from the exploration of Kupe (Maori folklore says Kupe was the first navigator to come to Aotearoa), Captain Cook's visit to observe the transit of Mercury, the sinking of the HMS Buffalo in the bay, kauri logging, gold mining, flax milling, farming, conservation, early life in Whitianga, school history...... and there is also a video that is pretty good to watch.  We got there later than anticipated... my recommendation is to give a good two hours to go through this museum.

We took the kids back to the holiday park to change into their togs and headed out to Simpsons Beach (aka Wharekaho), where Wendy from Swim Safe talked to the kids about safety at the beach.  There were no rips at Simpsons Beach, which is why we went there, for Wendy to show them, but we did actually have surf for a change!!

Finally it was time for a swim.  The kids had a ball in the surf and on my cousin's kayaks.  I loved getting in the water with them and have a swim.

When we got back to the holiday park, the kids warmed up in the shower and then we prepared an awesome bbq dinner.  Afterwards we went back to the Whitianga Wharf to fish off the wharf.  Unfortunately, due to the dirtiness of the harbour, the fishing wasn't so flash.  The children were given a handline each to keep, and lots of smelly bait.  Even though we didn't catch any good fish the kids had a good time. 

After getting rid of the fishy smell in another shower, we had a midnight feast (at 9:00pm), overloading the children with sugar before we sent them off to bed for a big sleep for the last day.

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