The Stellar Maze Photo Gallery

Juicy oranges And freshly cut grass.



Oh I wanna be there!

Come! You are more than welcome to stay with us in our beautiful slice of Heaven…

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Aah, I can just feel that water

Those water photos were taken by my partner from the back of a jet-ski owned by our lovely neighbours in scenic McLeod Bay. He’s far less “Se-challenged” than me, who would never dare try to use my iPhone from a jet-ski, as it would be guaranteed to end up on the bottom of the sea…

And the first photo was taken from our garden (or possibly from the aforementioned neighbours, since we have an “open border” between our adjacent properties. The strange-shaped rock formations belong to Mt Manaia, the tallest of the local mountains and a sacred site to the Māori people.

The large rock facing towards us is shaped like the face of a a male tribal elder. You can clearly see the prominent nose and mouth in the photo.

Legends say that he is the paramount chief Manaia, and the smaller rocks behind are his two children and his beautiful wife Pito (whom he mischievously stole from another Chief!). The aggrieved chief is following, apparently brandishing a club with which to strike down his unfaithful wife …

One day, Stewart, one day we will! And thank you!

tree with sun on it was probably cold to touch. its freezing today

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Pretty! Like top best with the three in a row. What region do you live in?

I’m paranoid to say (even to post photos). But let’s just say south.

McLeod Bay is actually in the North of the North Island. It’s part of a region of outstanding natural beauty known as Whangarei Heads:

It has an interesting history; geologically the area is the remains of a massive volcanic eruption. The rocky pinnacles of Bream Head, Mt Manaia and Mt Aubrey are the eroded remnants of Whangarei Heads Stratovolcano that was one of the larger volcanoes in the Northland Volcanic Arc, which erupted between 20 and 15 million years ago. Thankfully, the main volcano is long extinct, though other smaller volcanos in the Whangarei region are thought to be still active…

Here’s a photo of the wider Heads taken from the South:

Our property lies on the northern slopes of Mt Aubrey and has panoramic views facing towards the mountains in one direction and the idyllic Whangarei Harbour in the other. In the Southern Hemisphere, north-facing properties are ideal, as that means all-day sun (the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere).

The area was originally settled by the Maori people hundreds of years ago, but intertribe warfare meant the region had been largely abandoned by the local tribes when the Europeans arrived. Interestingly, some of the first settlers were of Scottish origin, having arrived here after an epic journey via Nova Scotia and Australia. This is why most of the settlements still have Scottish names. There is even a local Highland Games, held every New Year’s Day in a nearby town called Waipu.

One time I was standing next to a burly (and very sweaty!) Scotsman wearing a kilt and full Highland regalia in the public toilets in Waipu on a sweltering hot New Years Day - truly surreal!