Wednesday, 30 July 2014


This is so typical of Auckland.  One minute you're caught in a downpour and have to hide in the bushes, and the next the sun is shining again.

The old creepy Couldrey house

Sometimes it feels like life never slows down!  Between farm sitting, and Nic being away for work a lot, we have had hardly any time to hang out as a family.  We also have all these great intentions of getting out and exploring on the weekends, but when they finally roll around we're tired and it all seems like too much effort (sound familiar?).  Then we get scratchy because we never do anything fun, even though we know there's nothing we love more than a good adventure.  So to combat this we've decided that on Sunday mornings we're going to throw together a picnic, pack the car and hit the road.  We live in such an incredible country and it's about time we stopped using the whole 'baby' excuse and got out amongst it again!

This past Sunday morning we got up early (I say that like it's something unusual!), I downed a bowl of porridge, and then headed out to the markets to grab our weekly veges and a treat for lunch. Meanwhile Nic and Ayana packed the car and cleaned up breakfast.  By the time we pulled out of the driveway some pretty dark clouds were rolling in but we were determined to get out, rain or shine.

I'm ashamed to say that despite living around these parts for most of my life, I've never made it out to Wenderholm until now.  I'm told that in summer it is alive with the bustle of holiday makers, trampers and picnic enthusiasts, but on this rather soggy Sunday morning it was just us and a gang of over friendly fantails.  It's sort of hard to describe, but this place feels wise and ancient.  You know it has a lot of history under its belt (I suppose it was occupied by Maori for 1000 years before the early settlers laid claim to it!).  The little one had energy to burn so we wrapped up warm and marched our way through the bush to the cliffs above.

"Do you know that they're thinking about bringing extinct animals back to life?  Imagine if there were moa's running around here again", Nic said at some point.
It's hard to imagine these 2 foot high giants thundering through the tree's around you while you're straining to push the pram up a steep bush path.  For now there is just the occasional overweight, native pigeon trying to land in a taraire tree without much elegance or grace.  By the time we made it back down to the beach Ayana was snuggled down and fast asleep in her pram.  Mission accomplished! We sought shelter from the blackening sky and shivered as we quietly are our lunch.

By the afternoon we were getting tired from all the fresh air and exercise, and in desperate need of a caffeine fix.  I took a quick tour of the old Couldrey House (because I'm a history nerd and can't pass by a a good early settler cottage) while Nic took Ayana down to the beach for a last run around.  Then yawning, we headed back to Orewa to down an espresso before heading home.

We stumbled in through the front door, kicked off our muddy shoes, high fived each other for having an awesome weekend and started planning the next adventure!

What to take (in winter):
  • Sensible shoes (sneakers will do)
  • A warm/ waterproof jacket
  • A picnic (there are no shops around here)
  •  Something to drink
  • A bundle of energy
  • Some money in case you want to visit the Couldery House.  They charge a whopping $5.00 per person which I thought was a little steep.
YES.  There are specially marked pram walkways.  Be warned though, you will be pushing that pram up some seriously steep paths.  Also we did encounter a few steps along the way but nothing we couldn't get the pram over together.  Oh also if your pram has a rain cover I highly recommend bringing it.  A baby carrier would be another great option.

YES.  This park has real flushing toilets and taps (although water is not suitable for drinking)

YES. Although I think that's only in summer.  We also noticed an advertisement for really affordable old baches for rent.

YES.  But you need to bring your own fuel.


Over all experience:
This place has bush, park and a sheltered beach... kind of perfect wouldn't you agree?!

Wenderholm Website


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