Mapua Harbour and OrcasFebruary 27 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
We are staying in an Air BnB house on a high hill with incredible layered views of rolling hills with trees, the ocean and then mountains with clouds in the distance.
The lady who owns this wonderful house rents out the two inside bedrooms and a bach (granny flat). She sleeps in a large trailer that is parked outside when the rooms are all taken. The guests have complete run of her house, inside and out. When we arrived there was another couple from Estonia and a woman from England, who were travelling around NZ.
Usually, we like to prepare our own meals from items we carry in our cooler or shopping basket. Today, our larder looked a little low so we popped into Mapua Harbour, the little town nearby to do some food shopping.
We didn’t expect to find such a cute little place with its pretty views. We left the food shopping until the end of our visit.
The first sign that we saw was advertising the Serious Straws hat and cap store. It looked interesting so we went in. They specialize in making “fine quality straw, raffia, paper and palm hats that are both durable and provide good sun protection”. They have hundreds of colourful sun hats of all different shapes and sizes, but how many hats can one have? Fun looking around the store though.
We walked further into the tiny village and saw visitors eating breakfast and drinking coffee in cafes close to the Mapua Wharf. Such a peaceful scene.
At one time though, this was the location of a wharf that was used as an exporting point for apples, strawberries, and flax and it shaped the development of the town. The old sheds have been fixed up and transformed into little specialty shops. The wharf, that now has a reputation for family fun, is still busy but in a very different way.
We went into a small Marine Museum filled with old photos and found it hard to imagine that this area had been such a busy commercial centre.
On exiting the museum, we noticed 2 dark fins in the water close to the dock we were on. Orcas! A mom and her baby! Such an exciting moment, followed by many more moments as the orcas surfaced and disappeared. Then two more killer whales appeared right at the edge of where we were standing. Two meters away. Yikes! Apparently they were hunting for stingrays which is like a bit of a chocolate treat for them.
Well, our food shopping excursion turned into something a lot more fun. Once the adrenaline rush dissipated, it didn’t take much thought to just stay where we were in the sun and eat a fresh fish and chips lunch at the Smokehouse. Food shopping came later...Read more