Saturday, 30 July 2016

Discovering places to picnic

One of our missions at MyCityDiscovered is to discover and document all the parks around Auckland that contain a free public BBQ. Over on our main site (www.mycitydiscovered.com) we have split the locations we have found into 5 areas, North, South, East, West and Central. As we discover more we updated these pages and will add a post here to document the new location.

Todays free BBQ is in Moire Park in the western suburb of Royal Heights. The closest access is from Granville Drive.


This is an electric BBQ situated right next to the children's playground and near to the main sports fields. In the background of the photo you will see a small BMX bike track set up for the younger riders to practice their balance and control skills as they navigate the corners and undulations in the track.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Research required

On a short walk through Parnell we strolled through Heard Park to capture this sculpture.


We had passed by this many times but never stopped to take much notice. An inscription on the bottom left gives the date as 1991 and the artist name as Hiro, C.

More research will be needed however before we can give a name to this art work.

A number of sculptures around the city are lacking an explanatory plaque, oh well, keeps us busy hunting out more details.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Upgrades

A future article on www.mycitydiscovered.com will be on some of the children's playgrounds that include interesting features. Hunting out these parks means visiting far and wide throughout Auckland, on a recent visit to Papatoetoe we stopped at Allenby Road Park as we had heard that it had an unusual feature for kids to explore, however it looks like it has recently had a makeover as all the playground equipment is new and what we were expecting just wasn't there anymore.

The upgrade to the park has been executed well and the new features do make it interesting for all ages. Well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Updating existing content

While we are always trying to post new content onto our website there are times when a new discovery warrants an update to existing content. Case in point is from a recent trip to the North Shore. We stopped at Onepoto Domain to photograph the Pou near the children's playground, but in doing so found that there is an extensive network of tracks for the kids to ride their bikes on. There are give way signs to help learn the road rules and a few bumpy sections, even a few jumps to encourage a bit of risk taking.


A bit later in the day we made a second stop, this time at Greville Reserve for another bike track. This one is painted over a large flat concrete area (the top of a sunken reservoir), again with road markings to encourage familiarity with the road rules.


As we already have a page on the website for children's playground with these kinds of bike tracks this will just be an update to that content.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Where can I buy that book?

Thought that we had better make mention of where around the city you can buy our book.

Available from:
  • Boat Books - 22 Westhaven Dr, Freemans Bay
  • UBS - University Bookshop - 2 Alfred St, Auckland, Auckland Central
  • Unity Books - 19 High St, Auckland
  • The Maritime Museum - Corner Quay Street and Hobson Street, Auckland
And of course it is available on order from our website at www.mycitydiscovered.com

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Public Art Expanded

When we first set out to photograph all the sculptures around Auckland little did we know how far the journey would take us. We knew the job was big but it just kept growing. We started to find more pou than we expected and having done so had to make a distinction between these carvings and the more traditional European sculptures.


The more we travelled with our eyes open that more 'art' we discovered, wandering up alleyways and into out of the way places we realised just how much 'graffiti' art there is. Of course this street art takes many forms, from a graffiti styled form of tagging through to historical murals painted in places to prevent the 'bad' kind of scrawled tagging. So we expanded our photo collection to include these murals.


We had a further distinction to make. Murals generally cover a large wall space, some are commissioned while others are true graffiti murals but if you walk our streets you are also likely to see some of the painted utility boxes. Again these are mostly designed to deter tagging and bill stickers but in some sections of the city this has been taken to a different level, truly beautifying our city with some truly wonderful art.



In a previous post we provided a link to our sculpture map but coming real soon we will be adding three more maps for Murals, Utility Boxes and Pou.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Name that Bird

Exploring more of Auckland has opened our eyes just a little along the way. One of the things we now notice a lot more are the native birds that we share our environment with. But the thing that confuses is our common names for them. Some have always retained their Maori name, so Tui have always been Tui, so have Pukeko, Kea and Takahe. Others however have been popularised by their European given names, birds such as Fantail, Saddleback and NZ Dotterel.

During the development of our book and continuation into the website we determined to use the Maori name in the first instance for the birds we introduce and in doing so we have come to enjoy both knowing the Maori names and learning more about their habitats. So for us the New Zealand Woodpigeon will always be Kereru, the kingfisher will be Kotare and the NZ Dotterel will be Tuturiwhatu pukunui (a bit of a mouthful but for us a better name). We hope you agree that these names are better suited to our heritage.


As for our Fantail? Piwakawaka. The Saddleback? Tieke. And our favourite the Bellbird is Korimako.

Monday, 18 July 2016

What content?

Matching the theme of the book this blog will add detail around the adventures we have in and around Auckland. Posts will contain more information on the following topics:
  • Stream trails
  • Volcanic features
  • Public parks
  • Waterfalls
  • Coastal walks
  • Hiking trails to the highest points in Auckland
  • Historic Pa sites
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Island walks
  • Public art
  • Native and vulnerable bird life
  • Interesting children's playgrounds
  • Giant native trees
  • Public Barbeques
  • Sandspits
  • Public tennis courts and exercise equipment
  • Accessible lakes
Quite a mission to cover all of these, lots of time, lots of photography but personally rewarding. We are certainly getting plenty of exercise along the way.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Soon to be lost

If you are a fan of street murals then you need to get your skates on and roll on down to Enfield St in Mt Eden to see this mural by BMD before it is too late.


As you can see there is a new apartment block going up next door which will in effect mostly obscure any decent view of the mural. Once the construction is complete it may still be visible but only at an acute angle seen between the buildings. This is on the side of the Horse and Trap building just off Mt Eden Rd.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Sculpture Trail

The Sound of Rain - John Radford

One of the pages in our book we dedicated to some obscure sculptures we had found in our journeys around Auckland. The idea of the page was to give the reader the knowledge of the existence of these sculptures and then to encourage them to hunt them out if they were interested in seeing them in person.

Having found these sculptures lead onto us wondering how many there were scattered around the region, so a quest began. We started hunting out more, and more, photographing them all as we went.

As the list grew we thought it would be a good idea to start mapping out there locations as well as researching the artist behind the works. With the help of google our map was born. If you want to have a look at it use this link. The map includes a photo of each sculpture, click on the name or the pin on the map to see each photo, then click on the photo to see the full image.

The sculpture pictured above is 'The Sound of Rain' by John Radford. We include it here as it is currently missing. Apparently it was damaged and is currently back with John for repairs although that was over a year ago now. It will be sad if it is never repaired and returned to it original position.

Our purpose

The overall purpose of this blog is to document our journey of discovery of the city of Auckland. Despite having lived in this city for a good many years we realised that we were creatures of habit, shopping in the same suburbs, travelling the same roads to and from work only really exploring in detail our immediate surroundings. Yet this city is vast, vibrant and teeming with variety so as we began to look deeper and further afield we started to open our eyes, to see things we had walked or driven passed on many occasions but never stopped to really notice or explore. Were others in the same situation we thought? Hence the book, our way of attempting to encourage others to see Auckland a little differently. The posts on our blog will follow the theme of the book and present topics based around groups of activities or places to visit. These will include things such as waterfalls, birdlife, council facilities, art works, bush walks and more. We hope the reader will find a few new discoveries for themselves along the way.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Welcome

The book is published, the website is up and running and our Facebook page is gaining momentum but there is still something missing...a blog!
We realised that it takes some time to put together a new page for our website and the associated Facebook post and yet there is more that we want to communicate, most days we get out and about to discover more about our city and not all of it fits nicely into a category on website. So this blog will be our platform for adding the random stuff, or the discoveries that have not quite made it into a full website page yet. On here you will find the discoveries that are 'coming soon' to the website the items that we can post quickly without having to format into our website, we hope to add something new most days but that remains to be seen. Until tomorrow head over to the main site at www.mycitydiscovered.com