October 26, 2023 A Walkabout (Day 29)

Today was a glorious sunny, warm day. We decided to stay close to home and revisit the wonderful Coastal Walkway, after getting our cappuccino and chai latte at That Coffee Bloke’s van!

The BOI was blue and calm.

It was low tide and as we approached the area closer to the water we could see rocks with remnants of oyster and mussel shells, and an interesting seaweed (I think) that looks like strings of beads.

There was also a beautiful marble nestled in a hollow in the rocks that caught my eye.

We continued into Opua and rested up a bit before heading back. We took a detour onto the Harrison Reserve trail for a half mile, just to cool down in the damp forest. It was hot in the sun, exposed along the waterfront.

It’s a jungle in there!

We eventually emerged and walked the boardwalk over the mangrove forest (swamp?).

At low tide the grass or stick like growth in the mud flats are actually peg-roots or pencil-roots of the mangrove (manawa in Maori) plant. They allow the trees to breath since their main roots are underwater.

We concluded our 5ish mile walk in town, seeing more historic sites; first Christian Church built, first ship launched, etc, etc. All from the perspective of the newcomer Europeans of course! The stone Anglican church, I don’t think it was the ‘first’, was impressive.

But the huge tree to the right was way more impressive – to me anyway!

I believe this is a pōhutukawa, also known as the “New Zealand Christmas tree, New Zealand Christmas bush, and iron tree, it’s a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red flowers…” (per Wikipedia). We haven’t seen them in bloom yet, but they tend to be huge impressive trees along beaches.

The blobs hanging from the branches are aerial roots! I guess that means it can get pretty foggy or humid around here!

5 Responses to “October 26, 2023 A Walkabout (Day 29)”

  1. Rod and Linda Charny Says:

    What a glorious hike in gorgeous weather! We’ve woken to snow (just a dusting) two mornings in a ros. Mangroves are fascinating trees. Rod and I, in younger days, actually kayaked through mango trees on the island of Antigua. Looked like trees on stilts. I thought the marble was a beautiful beetle until you educated me!

  2. Sammy Says:

    Do you think the beads on that seaweed are air bladders?

  3. rmj Says:

    I just looked it up on Wikipedia and it’s called Hormosira, also Neptune’s necklace or pearls, sea grapes or bubbleweed. The beads are gas-filled but they are the body of the seaweed too. Back in the day Tasmanian schoolchildren were urged to “eat a bead a day to keep the goiters away” because it has high iodine content! I didn’t try any!

  4. Sammy Says:

    If you find ’em again, you can try ’em!

  5. rmj Says:

    I doubt it!

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