NZ North Island Day 8

16 March 2018, Saturday. St Patrick’s Day At Auckland.

We set off a little early this morning to catch St Patrick’s Day Parade at Ponsonby. Driving across Auckland Harbor Bridge…

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And that is Westhaven Marina, housing thousands of boats…

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We parked our car at Western Park and stroll along Ponsonby Road.

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Arriving at Ponsonby Terrace, we could see a large numbers of Parade participants.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day…

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Traffics were blocked off from entering Ponsonby Terrace.

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At preparation center

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Preparation work

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Like all parades…. balloons are essentials…

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Balloons and crowns…

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The peoples are all very friendly…. this gentleman’s message “Don’t Worry, Be Happy ”

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Doing some final practices

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and this horse was patiently waiting for its turn.

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Beauties are always ready…

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Group leading this parade…

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Music is the heartbeat of every parade…

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and everyone waiting for the clock to strike 12….

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Pictures before parade start

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The moment everyone was waiting for

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The crown and the beauties…

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Scottish Bagpipes Band march on

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Next came “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

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Look… what is that ! I do not know Irish Culture.

Among Singapore and Malaysia Chinese, pig head is used by Money Lender to threaten their debtor.

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Series of musical and dance performance…

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Here comes the Irish beauties…

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Participants from various Irish Groups…

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Look carefully….. few girls were walking in the air and more !

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And very Friendly Group dressing up in Crown clothing…

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This acrobatic performance drew a lot of applause

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Another Bagpipes Band…in traditional Scottish Kilt.

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At last, it is show time for Mr Horse….

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People from various cities in Ireland…

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Cheers to the girls from Doyle Academy…. superb tap dancing…

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More musicals…

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Here comes Irish Policeman…

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I decided not to be passive onlooker…

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Joined in and parade together

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My wife too joined in the parade…

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The last dance…

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Parade ended with float from my favorite Irish drink.

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Following the parade ….. we were at Western Park Carnival.

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Participants dropped back and relax…. it was lovely experience for us. The Irish community here are simply wonderful !

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We made our way back to iHoliday for some wash up. Lunch at Burger King and the continued with our afternoon adventure.

An hour drive to KareKare Fall. At the Car Park….

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Leaving the boisterous St Patrick’s day parade, we entered a world of serenity. Serene Little stream by the car park…IMG_9324IMG_9322

 

Everything seems so peaceful …. quietly reflecting in the slow flowing water.

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From the car park…. we trek along Lone Kauri Road…stream meanders over green meadows….

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We could see Karekare falls from the road side…

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Hiking through rocky wood towards the fall….

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Spectacular KareKare fall…beautiful cascading !

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Our next destination is Lion Rock. 20 mins of difficult uphill drive…we stopped over at Lion Rock Lookout point. And that is the famous Lion Rock !

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Our pictures at the look out point.

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Arrival at Lion Rock…

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Vast lonely beach with few peoples…breathtaking view.

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zoomed in a little and we saw climbers on lion rock…

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My wife ran ahead to explore…

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She spotted a rocky Island below Lion Rock.

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I always thought the picture gave an illusion of island of substantial size. In fact it is a mass of rocks few meters wide.

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The inhabitants on the rocky island

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after all the scare of melting sands…

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We were amazed by the reflection of lion rock.

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Notice the little headland beyond the lion rock…

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Zoomed in….we thought this looked more lion than the big lion rock in front of us.

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Every time the wave rolled out, the beach became a perfect reflective mirror.

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Our reflective pictures…

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Activities on the beach…

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Beach run….

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and walking the dog…

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And the most amazing sighting at Lion Rock….

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The horizon cloud is relatively thick and we thought we may not have good sunset…

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Nevertheless, we decided to stay around till sunset… as we laid back…. took snapshot series of flying birds…

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High flyer…

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and Low flying…

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Grounded…

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and the best I had managed…

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An old man and his dog…

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And the rolling wave…

 

As the sun tick towards the horizon….

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Lion rock was tinted with shades of orange.

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The mirror beach was spectacular…

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The last bird before dusk.

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Moment before Sunset

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as it tick lower

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Searching for Sun Power

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Harvest SunPower

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The last snap….

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It was nearly 1950 hrs when we drove off from Lion Rock. It was not easy driving on difficult terrain and in darkness. We managed to get back to iHoliday around 2100 hrs. We planned to have dinner at Master and Apprentice…

 

The stretch of street was crowded…. St Patrick’s day celebrations ! We love the atmosphere, lingered a little and it was too late for dinner. We decided to have Instant Noodles dinner and fruits at iHoliday.

End of Day 8 : We had a very wonderful day…. starting with boisterous St Patrick’s day Parade and followed by serene, relaxing afternoon at KareKare Fall and Lion Rock. Enjoyable !

Return to : NZ North Island Day 7

Continue to : NZ North Island Day 9