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Abandoned Dam Plus Other Scenery


So I decided to go out and enjoy a bit of nature, being such a nice day and all here in Auckland.

First up, a small walk I've been to before, not far down Piha Road. Piha is one of the most popular West Coast beaches in Auckland. Dead easy walk, about 10 mins maybe to get to the exciting bit. The track actually continues a looooooong way, we'll get to that later...

Start off down the track....

Nice trees

EEEEK! In a small area about 10m x 20m, there were about 100 of these. Nowhere else along the track however. I for one, welcome our new spider overlords.

Wait...what's this?!?!?!?

An abandoned water catchment dam! From memory, this was made redundant when the Upper Huia Dam was completed in 1929. I do stand to be corrected there though.

One of the holes cut into the dam to make it inoperable.

Panorama from the former lake bottom, looking away from the dam towards the rest of the catchment area.

Looking through the other hole.

One of the two drain holes used to draw off water for treatment. This one connects to the pipe and valve you can see in the previous image.

This is the other, about halfway up the dam with its cover still intact.

Of course, I heeded all warning signs as any smart person would. ;)

Up to the top of the dam. That top edge is 1) crumbly and 2) about 4 inches wide. On the right hand side mid shot you can just make out a wooden deck, this was still accessible last time we came here about 4+ years ago, but for obvious reasons, they have removed the part connecting it to ground level. I wasn't going to try going out there . :D

On the 'inside' of the dam. You can see why there are warnings.

Looking back up through the hole we saw before.

Art wank shot. :roll:

Middle of nowhere. Graffiti. :roll: Although I guess I have no idea how old that is.

Looking out to the downstream side.

Other side of that hole.

Hmmm what's this?!?!?!

Well, still no idea.

What I mean by this being a loooooooong walk. :D

Next stop: Pukematekeo Summit. (334m from memory)

Looking back to Auckland.

Waitakere Dam. Completed: 1910 Lake area: 25.1 hectares Capacity: 1.76 million cubic metres

If you look carefully, you can make out the Skytower. Fucking haze.

The former summit road bridge from the old days.

Playing with macro mode.

Arty trig station shot.

Next stop: Arataki Visitor Centre.

Welcome on in. From the AVC site. "Carvings created by local Iwi (tribe) Te Kawerau a Maki are a main feature of Arataki. An 11m high Pou (guardian post) at the entrance, represents ancestors of Te Kawerau a Maki and is one of the largest of its kind in New Zealand. Inside are five other ancestral guardian carvings."
They have large carved wooden penises. Not long after the centre first opened, the one down the bottom was attacked and stolen by local vandals  horny local women . :q:

Yeah. No idea. There were more of these around, plus hands on the handrails.

Lower Nihotupu Dam. Completed: 1948 Lake area:52.9 hectares Capacity: 4.6 million cubic metres. Another water catchment dam.

Looking back towards Auckland city, no zoom.

Same position, max zoom. Skytower and Rangitoto visible.

Cool little topo model of the whole Waitakere Ranges Regional Park area. Still under construction so it wasn't very interesting. They've recently redone the inside of the centre, so lots of new stuff.

Lots of art from locals on the walls. One of my favs.

Cool LCD touchscreen dealios. This one featured video interviews with the featured artists. Mostly crusty old hippy types.

Nature, the best backdrop there is. I forget what these things were.

Carved wooden moa. IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!!! The moa was hunted to extinction by the maori. Good eats seemingly. The feathers were also prized for cerimonial cloaks. Native to New Zealand and like the kiwi, flightless.

There is a whole lot of intricate decks around the centre, as high as 15-20m off the ground in places. Very steep land. You can see how keen they were to cut down as few trees as possible. These trees are ones that basically don't increase in trunk diameter over the years.

A natural masterpiece. :)

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