Saturday, 19 November 2016


No posts for a while as we have been off exploring more of Auckland, more specifically Great Barrier Island. Our main objective was the trip up to the summit of Hirakimata and we have added an article to our website to describe our journey. However we are always on the look out for other opportunities to add content to our other categories. It came as a surprise though to find a public BBQ. We don't know how often it gets used but it is in a glorious spot looking out onto Tryphena Harbour.

Having found so many public BBQs around Auckland we have split them into five groups with an article for each of Central, North, South, East and West. Not sure which of these GBI should fall into, maybe Central?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Flying around Auckland

We recently spent a good few days hunting out parks around Auckland that contain a flying fox for the kids to enjoy. To date we have found 15 parks scattered all over the city so if you are looking for a good flying fox you are probably never too far from one. Pictured below is one of a few that are double foxes in case you have more than one child in your family, you can set up some races!

Our pick of the bunch though is the flying fox in Waikowhai park in Hillsborough. This park is in a great seeing overlooking the Manukau Harbour and includes a BBQ as well as other playground equipment. Take a stroll along some of the bush trails and out onto the shell covered beach at low tide.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Titirangi Tennis

Visited Crum Park in Titirangi. Locals here are blessed with two public tennis courts in immaculate condition. Some public tennis courts around Auckland are a bit run down with some missing their net entirely. While most tennis clubs have good hard court surfaces most of the public courts are black asphalt. At Crum Park, as you can see, the courts are a wonderful shade of purple and are in perfect condition.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Updating our website

After spending a large amount of time photographing all the Sculptures, Murals and Painted Utility Boxes we know of and compiling them into Google maps we are very keen to have other people aware of these maps and to make use of them as a resource.
To this end we have applied an update to our website to add these maps as permanent links so that they will always be available to visitors to our website.

The website is available at

Here is a new mural by Flox that we have recently added to the map. This is one of the heart shaped murals commissioned as a series to promote the Heart of the City.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Native bird life

One of our ambitions in creating our book  (MyCityDiscovered - Auckland) and our website ( was to make more Auckland residents aware of the native bird life we share our city with. To date we have created pages on the website to introduce the follow species:

Putangitangi (Paradise Shelduck)
Ngutu pare (Wrybill)
Kawau paka (Little Shag)
Kotuku ngutupapa (Royal Spoonbill)
Matuku moana (White-faced Heron)
Papango (New Zealand Scaup)
Weweia (New Zealand Dabchick)
Karuhiruhi (Pied Shag)
Tieke (North Island Saddleback)
Toutouwai (North Island Robin)

This is only a small number which we hope to expand over time. Not all native species are found in Auckland so we will only be showing Aucklanders the birds that they can find in their 'backyard'.

Our latest addition in Matuku Moana

Matuku moana (White-faced Heron)

Friday, 9 September 2016

Lunch time jaunts

On fine days we usually take the opportunity to get out into the sun at lunchtime wandering around the neighbourhood near work. We have taken a number of photographs at Rongomai Park in East Tamaki as there are a few stormwater ponds that attract a limited number of waterfowl. The other day we saw a pair of Australasian Shovellers and decided to go back the following day to take a few photos.  As happens the shovellers had moved on but fortunately that had been replaced by a group of Grey Teal.

These birds are not listed as vulnerable or endangered but they are protected, during duck hunting season it is illegal to shoot these birds however it is estimated that around 6% of the population are still taken each season by careless or uninformed hunters.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Brief Visit to Pukekohe

Recently drove down to Pukekohe to view the new carvings recently unveiled on Pukekohe Hill. These were carved under the guidance of master carver Ted Ngataki

However, on the way there we noticed a few painted utility boxes like the one pictured below.

As we were short on time we did not explore too far but on our return home we discovered that there are around 30 of these painted boxes that we did not know about. So we have tasked a friend of ours who is resident in Pukekohe to photograph them all, hopefully we will have more to add to our map real soon.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Online again

After a short holiday followed by a brief hospital stay we are back discovering Auckland. First day of spring and the temperatures are already warming, we took the chance to wander around Blockhouse Bay to discover some of the historical murals but also found a nicely painted utility box in the process.
The mural is one of a number along the main street painted by Louis Stratham from original photographs of the Blockhouse Bay area.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Losing its habitat

Out for an afternoon drive around the Flatbush area we spotted a Kahu circling one of the few remaining fields. Where once was open grassland with horses and cows now stands a new subdivision of 2 and 3 level townhouses on less than 400sq metres of land a piece.

We give this bird 2 maybe 3 years before all the grass land it used to roam is consumed by housing built for immigrants arriving in the city to build houses in an overstretched market. A self perpetuating problem that slowly eats up valuable land and creates loss of habitat for our wildlife.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Dog Exercise Parks

On a recent trip out west we recently stumbled on a new dog agility course. Literally stumbled, the weather has been so bad recently that the surrounding fields were sodden, just walking across the grass we got quite muddy. The agility course however is well designed and drains well so your dogs won't get too wet. of course they have to cross the grass to get to it, not a problem in summer.

Corban Reserve Dog Agility Course

The new agility course opened in December 2015.

We know of two other agility courses similar to this. One in Craigavon Park in Green Bay, the other in Manuka Reserve in Glenfield.

Manuka Reserve

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Matching pair

On the motorway off ramp at Otara stands a bright red and yellow sculpture by Samoan artist Fatu Feu'u. We drive passed this sculpture most days so no surprise it is featured on our Sculpture Trail Map

On a recent trip out to the Westgate shopping mall we drove along Don Buck Road passed the Massey Library only to see a similar sculpture.

By the same artist this is named Ole Alia, unfortunately we do not know the name of the one at Otara. We think that Otara got the better deal as looking at it there is a greater amount of detail. What do you think? Is two better than one?

Monday, 1 August 2016

Losing the green

While wandering around Paremuka Lakeside park in Henderson we came across this painted utility box near the children's playground.

Painted by C Bolton we like the fact that she continued with the painting of the additional box to the right.
C Bolton has decorated a number of utility boxes from Te Atatu to Ranui though this was one that we were previously unaware of.

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 ( 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


A future article on 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

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


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