Friday, 31 May 2013

Local history, local life

Most of my readers don't live in New Zealand, so I'm going to take you on a little tiki tour of where I live. I'd love to see your local areas too - it's like travelling without the cost and inconvenience!

Last weekend, Chris and I made a rash decision to walk along the Onehunga foreshore. It doesn't sound like a crazy plan, but there was an imminent storm coming in from the west...


These bridges are the third and fourth Mangere Bridges, respectively. They link central Auckland to south Auckland. The first Mangere Bridge was demolished about a hundred years ago, and the second one was closed to traffic about 40 years ago. It's falling to bits, and is soon to be demolished as well.


The path is really well maintained, and heavily utilised by walkers, cyclists, and dogs.


However, the bordering industrial land is grimy and unkempt. If New Zealand had snakes or predators, this is the kind of wasteland they'd live in!


This end of the harbour is quite shallow (no access for ships). We caught it at low tide. There are loads of volcanic boulders along the shoreline, which blasted out of Mt Mangere a long time ago.


The path was already wet from overnight rains, but we carried on regardless.


There were storms to the east as well. Manukau Harbour (at least this far in) is almost entirely surrounded by mangroves and industrial areas. Sydney Harbour it is not!


One of Auckland's older cemeteries (established 1890) is just south of Onehunga. It is built on swampy sand, so lots of the headstones are cracked and tilted.


We wanted to spend more time here to learn the history of the area, but the rain became a major inconvenience. Some people might find it weird that I like to look through graveyards, but they tell us so much. If people learn something from my headstone in 100 years, I'd be pleased, not distressed.


Have you discovered anything interesting in your local area (after years of living there)?

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for this walk through your land. Gorgeous photos! As a child I used to have to walk through a very old cemetery on my way into and out of the Episcopalian School I attended. I loved reading the headstones and picking a few flowers along the way.

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    1. Thank you for reading! I always like the photos you share of your surrounds too :-)

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  2. I love these photos, particularly the wet path and the cemetery images (I too love walking through old cemeteries). Very beautiful.

    We just moved and do not yet have Internet at our house, so with only my phone blogging is limited. But I like the idea of a photographic tour of my hometown. I may have to do this!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds cemeteries interesting. When you have the chance, I'd love to see your hometown!

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  3. Thank you for your mini photo tour. It is a great idea and trust me Sydney Harbour has its grotty areas too, once you get five minutes away from the pointy white building and big grey bridge.

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    1. Even though I lived in Australia for 25 years, I never spent much time in Sydney - interesting to know that perceptions are quite different to reality!

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  4. Thanks for sharing these photos! I think its a great idea and I'll try to get some up on my blog of my little town in New Mexico soon. The sewing community lives so many different places and its so interesting to get a little glimpse into everyone's lives!

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    1. That sounds great Megan! I agree that the sewing community is very widespread, so we should make the most of it. I don't know anything about New Mexico, so I'd love to learn more!

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  5. I keep meaning to go to our local cemetery and take photos - Edward Henty is buried there, as is the guy who invented AFL - but every time I think of it, it's like 4pm and they lock the gates at 5pm... Sigh.

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    1. Well, the cemetery isn't going anywhere fast... it will still be there when you have time!

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  6. That was so much fun! I must do something similar one day, if the rain will just hold off.

    Cemeteries are absolutely fascinating places - I love rambling through them and taking photos of the oldest and most interesting headstones. Luckily, most of my friends feel the same way!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour! I was thinking about your neighbourhood documentary project as I sorted through the photos...

      It seems that we are all in agreement that cemeteries are wonderful - makes me feel less weird!

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  7. It is quite a interesting spot there! I live in the west of Auckland and there aren't big industrial wasteland type places around where I live! The amount of graffiti in the overbridge tunnel bit is insane isn't it?

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    1. Yes, that overbridge is too scary for me to go near to photograph! I think there are interesting places all around us, but none of us have the time to go find them (usually).

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  8. Beautiful photographs Kat. I used to live and work in Onehunga and I really really enjoyed your photographs.

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  9. Oh! I love graveyards as well. The history and the stories and the different head stones. Awesome. Just rediscovered your blog after way too long!

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