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Wednesday, July 20, 2016


In 2013 I did a review on Trip Advisor about what I enjoy about living across the Bay from such a special place. Trip Advisor reminded me this morning of that review and I am sure you will enjoy all the images that people have posted of their time visiting this park. Here is a link to the page and the photos:

Click on the photos as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015


You may have heard of a "Partridge in a Pear Tree" ?
Well here is a Kereru, native wood pigeon in a Dracena draco. Dragon Tree.

Merry Christmas to you from Peter and Janis at 
Okoromai Bay Bed & Breakfast

I photographed this right outside the guest area,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Miss Dimple Dumpling Jamieson Takes Part in the Annual Bird Survey

Now where do we begin? Oh thats right, read the instructions....

Setting off at precisely 8.20 am she made her way around the garden path, there were strict guidelines to adhere to, therefore she was very particular.

8.25 am "Oh look! There are 2 Indian Myna on the roof."

8.35 am "Wow! there is a Eastern Rossella on that tree with a Tui, where's my Mum with her camera?"

8.42 am "Oh, oh, there's a Blackbird!"

8.45 am "Swishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....what were those? Gosh those birds fly so fast and they are so small, how are you supposed to identify them?"

8.48 am"Whoa! Look up there! A Red Billed Gull is flying overhead".

8.55 am "Whisssssssssssh......another flockasomething or other......."

9.02 am "Oh, now there are 2 Tui in the tree ( how many does that make 3? Oh no, that's right, you can't add them together in case you are seeing the same bird again, Dam and Blast!!
9.10 am "Round and around I go where are those pesky birds?"

9.12 am"Oh, there is another Black Bird, can't count that again though."

9.15 am "Woopee! 2 Silvereye. "

9.18 am 'Hey there's a Song Thrush!"

9.20 am "Well that's it, times up!

What is the final tally?
2 x Indian Mynas, 1 x Blackbird, 1 x Red Billed Gull, 2 x Tui,
1 x Song Thrush, 1 x Eastern Rosella and 2 Silvereye, and the remains of a little Field Mouse....
That will be why Miss Lucy Gumdrops Jamieson has not got around to doing her survey this year!"

"Do you know, I am so exhausted I think it is time for my nap, so I will say bye for now....been nice talking to you."
"Oh, by the way, you can look up the birds I saw by visiting this fabulous site.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Over the last few months I have made several journey's to Tiritiri Matangi Island  not only with friends but also alone to savour all that Tiri has to offer.
Tiritiri Matangi is a Island Bird Sanctuary and you can read all about it's history and all that it has to offer  by clicking  on the link below.

Getting across from Gulf Harbour Marina (5 minutes drive from our B & B) is easy. We can arrange this for you, or you can click on  the link below which will take you to the ferry service operating out of Gulf Harbour.

In the Spring when the Kowhai ( Sophora microphylla) were in flower I went with a group of friends whom I had walked the Tongiriro Crossing with a couple of years previously.  This was a way of getting to know where each of us lived and what each area had to offer.  As the boat was  leaving the Gulf HarbourMarina, Fur Seals were basking in the sun on the breakwater.
( Sophora microphylla) 

When we disembarked at Tiri we were greeted by the Resident D.O.C. (Department of Conservation) Ranger who gave us a brief talk before handing over to the Guide Manager who assigned small groups to the waiting Volunteer Guides. This is a worthwhile thing to do at only $5.00 each.. The Guides are enthusiastic about the Island and know where the best places are to view the birds and each time you go, you can be assured of learning something new.

As we walked up the track we were shown a 'midden'where early Maori had dug a hole to bury there garbage, the shells are visible on the side of the bank.

We were soon to see Whitehead (Popokatea), Fantail (Piwakawaka), Kingfisher (Kotare), Bellbird (Korimako), North Island Robin (Toutouwai) and the Red-Crowned Parakeet (Kakariki).

At the end of the Guided Walk we arrive at the Information Centre where free coffee and tea is available and a shop selling all sorts of souvenirs to take home with you.
Takahe were out and about, bringing attention to the important information on the Notice Board regarding them and their kind!

All too soon it is time to head back to the wharf, so we made our way back down the tracks stopping now and again to sit and watch the birds feeding. It was then on to the Tiricat and we were on our way back to the mainland. 

Looking back at the Lighthouse

Tiritiri Matangi is a Island Bird Sanctuary and you can read all about it's history and all that it has to offer  by clicking  on the link below.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Visitors to the Garden at Okoromai Bay Bed & Breakfast

There has been a lot of activity around the garden this summer. The fruit is on the trees, the flowers are blooming , the Bumble Bees and Monarch Butterflys are flying about and of course the bugs, good and bad are here as well.

A lovely mix to lure the birds. Today I hear a lot of pipping and chirping going on down below the deck along the path to the private area where my  guests stay and it draws me to the balustrade.  looking down I see Fantails (Piwakawaka)  and Silvereye (Tauhou) flitting in and out of the trees.

Such a delight for a keen bird watcher, such as I.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


This is an article from the WOPS (Women’s Outdoor Pursuits- Auckland Based) latest newsletter. This is a great group for women to get involved in; they offer Introductory Courses throughout the year. The images were taken by me.
"Shakespear Regional Park is part of a greater area; Whangaparaoa – meaning literally ‘the bay of the sperm whale’.  The park’s many significant pre-European archaeological sites testify to long Maori occupation in the region.  Important to Maori, it was both rich in natural resources and a strategic stopping point for groups travelling up and down the coast.

Terracing, middens and kumara storage pits dating back to Maori occupation are readily identifiable changes in this landscape.  Now there is another highly visible change – the 1.7 kilometre pest-proof fence erected across the peninsula neck from Army Bay to Okoromai Bay.

The creation of a pest-free open sanctuary is another step towards restoring the natural wildlife balance and protecting endangered species. Tui, bellbirds and Kakariki have already moved in from nearby Tiritiri Matangi Island".
 You can read more by visiting their site.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


An afternoon walk via the end of my street and I am in Shakespear Regional Park. The fenced off area of the park which includes Te Haruhi Bay and the Bush Walk have been closed due to a pest eradication programme started in July of this year but is due to reopen to the public on the 1st of December 2011. Only 3 weeks to go!

That will be fantastic!

In the meantime we have been able to access the rest of the park, and the wetlands are included in this. They are situated between Okoromai Bay and Army Bay.

On this day I managed to see at least 4 White Faced Heron, numerous Pukeko, Pied Eyed Stilt,Mallard Ducks, Tui and various other birds including Black Swans in the waters of Okoromai

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Looking out from my deck this week I noticed some parachutes over Okoromai Bay. On further investigation realised it was people on surfboards using parachutes to speed them along. I can just imagine the exhilaration they must have felt.

Later that day I headed down to the end of our street to walk along the cliff top path that winds its way behind the houses to come out near the Gulf Harbour Country Club

I took a photo looking back into the Bay. From this direction you can see across the causeway to Army Bay and in the distance Little Barrier Island

By the time I had wound my way back home it was time to prepare dinner. A few days later I took myself into the WETLANDS to see what I could see.....but that is another story! Keep me on your watchlist!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Day at Auckland's Newest Playground

Wynyard Wharf and surrounding piers are just a 50 minute ferry ride from Okoromai Bay Bed & Breakfast. As you can see from the photographs the day was stunning with blue sky and the Waitemata Harbour (sparkling waters) put on a special show for us, what more could anyone want.
There is entertainment and plenty of places to eat. A wonderful place to walk, ride a bike, push a pram or even take a tram! Yes they have bought back an iconic part of Auckland's history by bringing back the trams to downtown on the pier.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Peter came home the other morning after doing some shopping and coaxed me outside onto the driveway. Sitting in the Kowhai tree (Sophora) that he has just driven the car under is a Kereru (Wood Pigeon) eating the new shoots. It is within easy reach. I rush in and get my camera and begin taking numerous shots. Moving up to it and standing below the tree, the Kereru; nonplussed continued to eat. On this occassion he stays for at least 20 minutes. It is such a thrill to see it so close to the house with its gorgeous big white belly and green red, plumage. It has returned several times since. When our neighbour's Loquat tree is in fruit, in the summer, this is another delicacy that entices the birds to visit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Several teams who will play in the Rugby World Cup in September/October of this year will be staying in Gulf Harbour and practicing at the Silverdale Rugby Club grounds. The three teams that are involved are Japan, Samoa and Namibia. We at Okoromai Bay Bed and Breakfast in Gulf Harbour welcome supporters of the visiting teams. Book now as our rates are the same as always.
In the pool matches Japan versus France on 10 September, Namibia versus South Africa on 22 September and Samoa versus South Africa on 30 September. These games will be played at North Harbour Stadium.
On Tuesday the 26 July the Rugby World Cup Roadshow will be in Orewa The custom designed truck houses the Webb Ellis Cup and features interactive displays and videos of the history and the legends of the Cup. The local radio station and retailers and others will be involved in making this a fun time for all. For more information visit and

Sunday, June 19, 2011

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE- Shakespear Regional Park

As I look out my window from Okoromai Bay Bed and Breakfast, the sun is shining on the park. The green of the grass after the rain, the blue sky, with clouds drifting by, the birds flying overhead, makes for the perfect picture.
Today I am meeting other like minded people to give back to our environment. A planting day at Shakespear Regional Park has been scheduled, my first committment to such a worthy cause.
The area that we will be planting grasses in, is amongst other things a habitat for skinks such as the Moko (pictured above).
Later that day...
The day went well with a good group of people of all ages participating, some digging, some collecting the black plastic planting bags as they were discarded and some handing out the fertiliser pellets. A team effort saw between 400 and 500 trees and grasses planted over a 2 hour period. The rangers and organisers put on a barbecue and hot drinks for all the workers to thank them for their efforts.
You can learn more about the work being done at the park by visiting the following sites. and
Postscript.. A temporary home for the Peacocks has been found.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Peacocks at Te Haruhi Bay , Shakespear Regional Park

One of the great things about living in this beautiful part of the country is having access to Shakespear Regional Park.
At Okoromai Bay Bed and Breakfast you can be walking in the park in less than 10 minutes.

At the moment of writing this a large section of the park is undergoing a huge transformation as a predator free fence has been installed closing in all but Army Bay and Okoromai Bay. The intention is to begin a aerial pest eradication programme and that part of the park which surrounds Te Haruhi Bay will be closed from the 1 July 2011 to allow this to happen.

In the meantime temporary accommodation is being sought for the peacocks and peahens (approximately 25 in total) until the area is safe for them to be returned.

You can learn more about what is happening by linking into Hibiscus Matters and Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society at and

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Focus: Lets play GOLF

Located within walking distance of Okoromai Bay Bed and Breakfast are two golf courses. The first is Whangaparaoa Golf Club, which was established in 1959 and is described as "a regular golfer" course. It is an 18 hole course with par three through par five holes, the longest is 474 metres. The other is at the Gulf Harbour Country Club, The course was the venue for the World Cup of Golf in 1998 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It is a 6,400 metre, par 72 golf course. It has 4 sets of tees which assures that it meets the requirements of any golfers playability. It is a fabulous setting from start to finish. A 'must do' if you visit this area.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Focus on ARMY BAY - Shakespear Regional Park

Okoromai Bay Bed & Breakfast.

Peter went swimming this morning at Army Bay, he has had a rather stressful time at work this week and his comments on entering the house this morning were "The water was crystal clear, I was the only one swimming, it was so serene it felt spiritual, I now feel refreshed!" Army Bay is directly behind Okoromai Bay on the opposite side of the peninsular, it is a great place to swim and have picnics and is the first Bay you come to as you enter Shakespeare Regional Park at the end of Whangaparaoa Road. Another option is to walk across the park from Okoromai Bay you can make your way through wetlands, which is a great place to find birds nesting.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Focus on Tiri Tiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi Island is located about four kilometres off the coast of Auckland's Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

Around 15 years ago Tiritiri Matangi Island, a 220 hectare island was largely barren farmland. In a unique partnership between the Government and conservationists from Auckland, it was designated an open sanctuary, cleared of predators and planted in over three million native trees. Administered by the Department of Conservation, Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the most successful conservation projects in the world.
Tiritiri Matangi Island provides an opportunity to visit a genuine open wildlife sanctuary featuring many species of endangered New Zealand bird life, including the kiwi, takahe, kokako and saddleback/tieke.
Daily ferries take visitors to the island. On the island you will find a Visitors Centre with displays on the Tiritiri Matangi Island's history and biodiversity, and includes a popular children's learning area. A shop selling cold drinks and quality gifts is also on the island.

A network of tracks to enable visitors to explore the bush, cliff top views and beaches. Guided tours are available to enjoy this very special island.
Hobbs Beach on the western side of Tiritiri Matangi Island is ideal for swimming and snorkelling.