Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The break is over

Like the rest of Auckland, I’ve been taking a summer break.


While I was at the beach, some stuff happened but with a view like this, I wasn’t really bothered. In fact, living with no phone and no internet at the end of a dirt track in the middle of nowhere was a nice reminder that there’s more to life than fits down a broadband cable.

On the downside, the clown Bush is still in office and still can’t figure why he needs to loosen his tie more often.

Spaghetti junction – 33 years in the making

The last elements of Auckland’s central motorway junction, known by all and sundry as spaghetti junction, will open this week.  This will mean that traffic wishing to move from one of the city’s motorways to another will no longer have to use local city roads to do so. With around 200,000 vehicles a day moving through the junction, this is a big deal, not just for drivers but those who live, walk and cycle on the streets of Auckland previously used to connect the motorways.

Not to be outdone, the capital will open its own controversial inner city bypass just after Christmas, to speed traffic from the airport to north of Wellington without clogging the streets of the CBD.  A good number of folks, including my friend and blogger Taniwha, photographed the Te Aro area before the bulldozers and concrete moved in.

photo: Taniwha

Call me naive but I am amazed that in this day and age, when the peak oil argument is highlighted by what Al Gore calls An Inconvenient Truth,
a socially progressive nation like NZ is still trying to road build it’s
way out of congestion and overcrowded streets while allowing popular
elements of its fragile rail infrastructure, like the Overlander, to wither on the vine for want of promotion and investment.

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Auckland’s 6th gift to the world: The Waitakeres

Quite simply, how many cities have a prehistoric rainforest as a next door neighbour?

The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is a stunning wilderness area just 30 minutes from downtown Auckland.  You’ll see flora here that has hardly changed in 30 million years and, if you are lucky, rare fauna like threatened species like the Hochstetter frog, New Zealand dotterel, Long Tailed bat.  As for activities, you’re spoilt for choice: surfing, walking, environmental education, not to mention the Waitakere Tramline and the Rainforest Express.

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