Seal alarm at the Whangarei Town Basin

on July 29, 2010

After having lunch today with one of the Couchsurfers in town I went to have a look around the Town Basin. That's the area by the harbor with the City marina, lots of yachts and nice little restaurants and shops.


Today, however, something else caught my attention. There was something floating in the water. On a closer look it turned out to be a seal! Somehow though that little fellow didn't look to good. He was barely moving, just floating on one side, one fin and the tail up in the air, the other fin stuck under water and it seemed like he was trying to catch his breath.

After a while more and more people came looking and one of the ladies was really worried. She even got another guy to call someone - probably the vet - to come down have a look. It looked like the seal was tangled up in something and therefore couldn't move.

Well - to make a long story short... we watched that poor little guy for about 15mins always worrying and waiting for someone to come down and help him - when all the sudden he turned his head, looked at us - and dived under water. Gone he was. He had tricked us all along, just enjoying the sun - and probably all the attention he got from us.

Well, at least I got some really nice pictures :-)


Walking further along I eventually came to the end of the boardwalk where I found this interesting piece of art:


It's called "Waka and Wave". Waka is Maori and means boat. It's a nice place to chill out and relax because there's barely anybody there.

The Town Basin also houses the New Zealand Fudge Farm Factory & Café, a little shop that has a huge variety of chocolates, fresh made fudge, yummy ice cream and much more. Even found some Lindt Easter bunnies!

Another landmark is the Reyburn House Art Gallery.


According to the brochures it's a "vibrant internationally known gallery" which has changing exhibitions and some nice jewellery, pottery and glass. One of the ladies running the place also told me about its historic significance. The house was built in the 1860s by Scottish settlers, has been expanded over the years and was supposed to be torn down, but saved - and is now the oldest building in Whangarei well-preserved. The Northland Society of Arts has bought it once for only $10 otherwise it would have been demolished to make room for a road.

One more thing that I'm yet to visit though is the Clapham Clock Museum.


"To all clock enthusiasts, time travellers and the plain curious. Never mind the seconds, take a few minutes or maybe some hours and experience the intrigue of a building filled with more than a thousand ticking and chiming clocks and like-gadgets that trace the human development of time keeping, believed to be the largest collection of clocks in the Southern Hemisphere."

The museum advertises itself with having the largest collection of clocks and timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere. More than 1400 exhibits. Entrance fee is $8 for adults, guided tours are available for no extra charge.

More pictures of the Town Basin - and the little seal - are on Facebook.

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