Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Do you know sheep have bottoms Mummy?"

Following the extremely windy and stormy weather we have been having this week Saturday came as a bit of a surprise. It was bright and sunny and despite the chilly southerly wind it was reasonably warm.

I had to leave the house uncharacteristically early for a weekend morning, as I had volunteered to help out at the fundraising clothing sale at the Kindergarten. I headed down all enthusiastic and brimming over with helpfulness, only to be told that they had enough people and I could go home if I wanted. So I turned up back home, having woken up early on the weekend with nowhere to go. So we decided to head to Plimmerton and take the girls rock pooling on the beach.

The crabs obviously heard us coming but we did find lots of interesting shells.

Battle Hill Farm Forest Park is the site of one of the last battles between Maori and early colonial forces in this area. Its only about 10 minutes drive from us so we decided to go and explore the area this Sunday. The park itself appears to be run partly as a working farm, educational centre and environmental restoration area. It is stunning and we will definitely have to return in the summer although I would imagine that its is significantly more crowded than it was today.
We had to pass through fields of sheep and subsequently sheep poo. It was at this point that my youngest came out with the classic question "Do you know sheep have bottoms Mummy?". "Well yes they do and they tend to be furry!" was my response - not much else you can say to that really.

Its always surprising how green the countryside is even though its mid winter.

A constant supply of chicken nuggets and doughnuts kept the girls going.

The park contains part of the area known as Transmission Gully which is the proposed new route for State Highway 1 (SH1). It has been a very controversial proposal as SH1, which is currently a rather dangerous winding road which at points goes directly next to the sea, desperately needs improvements. However the route through Transmission Gully will be expensive to construct and goes through an area which is extremely beautiful. Having walked in this area I think there must be a way of avoiding destroying all this beauty.

We completed the Wetlands Walk through Swampy Gully Paddock - the name says it all really!

Looking towards Transmission Gully in the distance.


  1. Loved this post and the comments about the sheep. I'm not sure how I'd feel being told I could go home after having made such an effort. Doesn't seem very friendly even it were true. I always thought the more the merrier was the adage when it comes to community spirit. This walk looks tremendous it's not one we've done but will add to our list.

  2. Fabulous post - I did laugh at the sheep comment too. Soon after we arrived in NZ my hubbie had me really worried about his mental health when he suddenly stopped in his tracks and pointed at a lamb, saying, 'Lambs have tails!'. And he grew up in Lancashire with fields of sheep all around (they must dock their tails quick up there!). As for me, I'll never forget driving up and down the motorway between Hampshire (where I grew up) and Wales and Liverpool (where all my folks family are from) spotting countless lambs tails with never ending delight.