Tag Archives: Christmas

Smiths Bush

Smiths Bush is a great little reserve that is lush with bird song and really impressive large old trees.  It’s unfortunate that it is located right next to New Zealand‘s main motorway, State Highway 1.  You never escape the sound of traffic, but while enjoying Smiths Bush I got used to it.  The video below shows you some of the cool trees, but I shot it for the bird song.  If you like you can click play, and listen to the sounds of Smiths Bush as you enjoy the pictures and text below.

Smiths Bush hides behind the sports fields and tennis courts of Onewa Domain.  The main entrance is next to the cricket clubrooms just off of Northcote Road.  The main path is a nice raised boardwalk.

Smiths Bush nature trail
Smiths Bush nature trail

I still can’t be trusted to accurately identify trees.  The Kaipatiki Explorer mentions puriri, kanuka and kahikatea trees.  the trees below look more like puriri than kanuka or kahikatea, but I’m not at all sure that’s what they are.  I don’t think it’s immediately clear how big they are, in the photo below, but note how they compare to the other trees.

Puriri trees
Puriri trees?

The trees at Smiths Bush are attractively adorned with what I’ve identified as epiphytes.

Puriri trees?
Puriri trees?

The many very tall straight trees provide a great contrast to the much less vertical trees above.  I think these are kahikatea.

Kahikatea tree?
Kahikatea tree?

Below are a few of the different looks of Smiths Bush.

Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush

It was 14 days before Christmas, and near the end of the loop we came across a Christmas tree like I’ve never seen before.

Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush

The note reads “Dear Fairy.  We love you.  From Maddy”.

Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush

The decorations include no bulbs, but some tinsel, and toys, many stickers, and even a small Christmas tree.

Smiths Bush
Smiths Bush

Smiths Bush is a great place for a short walk, and for the birds and impressive trees.  Few people live close to the park, but it’s well worth a short drive.

Please enjoy the full gallery of 16 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Merry Christmas from Auckland!

Merry Christmas from Auckland!

The pohutukawa, the New Zealand Christmas Tree, began to bloom in late November.

Pohutukawa beginning to bloom
Pohutukawa beginning to bloom

It was just last year I realized how many of the trees around me are pohutukawa, when they went into bloom just before Christmas.

Pohutukawa at Heath Reserve
Pohutukawa at Heath Reserve

I made sure to visit Albert Park in Auckland’s Central Business District for a look at the pohutukawa there.  The one in full bloom below is a long time favorite tree to sit in whenever I have time to pass in the city.

Albert Park
Albert Park

The giant Santa is still there at the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets.  He looks a lot better since his 2009 makeover, and decidedly less creepy since the removal of the winking eye and beckoning finger.

Giant Santa
Giant Santa

We’ve had a couple of hot days in December, but it hasn’t settled into a consistent summer yet.  Today started looking a bit rainy, but the skies are now clear and blue, and we’re hoping the wind will die down a bit more.  If it does, we’ll probably go for a walk on the coast, otherwise we might opt for the shelter of the bush.

Franklin Road Christmas lights
Franklin Road Christmas lights

Franklin Road in Freeman’s Bay has a reputation in Auckland as a good place to see Christmas lights, so we went for a walk there last week.

Franklin Road Christmas lights
Franklin Road Christmas lights

The kiwi snow man is a great idea!

Franklin Road Christmas lights
Franklin Road Christmas lights

The Sky Tower is lit red and green for the holidays.

Sky Tower in red and green
Sky Tower in red and green

I wish you all very happy holidays!

You can view the full gallery of 14 pictures below.