Last Leg of the Trip : Takapuna NZ

Only a month left before returning to the States. Oskar and I are in the last leg of our AUS/NZ trip, which lands us in Takapuna, a northern suburb located 20 minutes north of Auckland.

The first week here we had off to get settled in at our apartment and take some daytrips around the north island. The south island would have been nice to do, but we would have had to of flown, which was out.

I've put in some pictures below of; Matakana, )an 1.5 hour drive north east of Auckland), Goat Island (on the east coast north of Matakana), Lake Taupo (3 hours south of Auckland in the center of the island), Lake Rotorua (about 1.5 hours east of Lake Taupo), and finally Raglan ( a surf beach on the west coast). It was a great week off and we got alot of sights in.

Picture 1: This is the view of Downtown Auckland from our apartment building in Takapuna. To the right is The LakeHouse Art Center, where I currently have an exhibit up.

Picture 2: Matakana Market on the weekends. I had some incredible blueberry icecream at one of the shops.

Picture 3: Goat Island with volcanic black sand beaches and tropical fishes. A popular beach to go snorkeling at.

Picture 4: Lake Taupo. Freezing cold fresh water that runs down from the surrounding melting snowcapped mountains.

Picture 5: Sunset at Lake Rotorua. Very warm water that is surrounded by active, steaming, bubbling, geisers.

Picture 6: And finally, one of my favorite beach towns ever Raglan. Turquise water, mountians, beautiful Samoan people and a layed back surfer atmosphere.


Brighton Beach Huts

This little colored houses that line Brighton Beach, a suburb outside of Melbourne, are one of the few things that make this town unique. They are little bather houses that families purchase so that when they come to the beach they can have somewhere to change into their bathers, store their sand toys, or just sit and relax. They measure, on average, about 10ftx10ft in size. Most recently one was bought on Sorrento Beach (a neighbouring beach about an hour south) for a whopping 350,000 dollars. Wow. Nevertheless they do make a beautiful photograph.


Bye Bye Sommers

With the Asia-Pacifics Regatta complete we are leaving Sommers today and heading north to Sanderingham.
Oskar and Kevin finished 7th overall. They had some great and some not so great races. You can see their full results at
The event in Sanderingham is Sail Melbourne and will begin on Monday.

We had a relaxing time in Sommers and really enjoyed the couple, Steph and Barbara, that we stayed with. After all of the hotels we've been staying in lately it was nice to feel like we were at home. Below I have put a picture that Steph took of a bbq that they had prepared for us. Pictured from the right is Barbara, Oskar, Tino (one of the German sailors), Kevin, Rob, Niko (Tino's brother), and me. I've also put in some pics around Sommers, mostly koalas and one of Steph in the garden with the watertower in the back drop.


Koala in My Backyard

We are currently staying with a family in Somers. Oskar's regatta, the pan asian pacifics / sail melbourne, is being hosted by the Sommers Yacht Club. Sommers is about an hour drive south of Melbourne. Alot of people come here for summer holiday and weekends. It's a tiny town couple of kms in length and only streches as far back as 2 blocks from the beach. It has 1 general store where you can grab a coffee, paper, or sandwich. Sommers is located on Mornington Pennisula which is filled with winerys, golf courses, and beautiful beachs. It's also close to Seal Island where monstrous great whites have been found and Phillips Island where you can find penguins marching in from the sea every sunset.
Anyway, Somers has alot of koalas that inhabit their Eucalyptus trees and we were lucky enough to spot a male in our backyard yesterday. It slept most of the day but occasionally woke up, stretched his head back, and made a deep snorting sound. Maybe a mating call? This morning he was gone though, maybe to go and find his girlfriend.

More Yummy Graffiti

Graffiti Alley

Located in the heart of Melbourne around the CBD district we found lovely treasures like the alley below.


National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria was a delight. The archectiture created beautiful grid-like shadows across the interior. The water wall at the entrance of the gallery was an interactive magnet inviting people to touch, photograph, or just watch. And towards the back of the gallery, prior to entering the sculpture garden, visitors were invited to lay on the carpeted floor and gaze up at the impressive stained glass ceiling.
For more information about the gallery go to http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/

I love Melbourne

What is not to love?
Arts and Culture are bountiful. Excellent coffee, international restaurants hidden in alley ways, an experimental art scene and avante-garde architecture are what makes this my favorite city in Australia. It's beaches are not as pristine as Sydneys but Melbourne offers top quality food, art, and an anything goes attitude. Open doors to immigration have given the city a mix of greek, italian, and spanish influence.
The city is growing and the landscape is changing. Exciting recently finished projects include: Federation Square, Melbourne Museum, Webb Bridge, Centre for Ideas and the Melbourne Gateway.

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