Posted by: annie | July 18, 2010

Taka where?

I love books, bookstores, and the library.  I can’t understand the attraction of the kindle. How do you curl up on the couch or in bed with a piece of machinery?  I can’t read for long on the computer either and it has nothing to do with attention span.  I can easily lose hours in a bookstore perusing the shelves, turning the pages of some magazines, dreaming of future getaways in the travel section, reading the recommendations and reviews of the Powell’s staff (in Portland), reading a few lines for myself or checking out some recipes (Jamie Oliver!) or hanging out with Jen in the knitting section for fun, or laughing with friends over “stuff white people like” ha ha  There is nothing like Powell’s here, but Albany does have a tiny little library.

In the U.S., I was a library user.  I took advantage. My library hold list was always full of books, CD’s, and  DVD’s.  I recognized our library staff at the Belmont library because I was in there fairly often picking up my newly available items.  Things are a little different here in New Zealand.  You’re welcome to everything in the library, but everything is not free.  $1 for CDs, $2 for DVDs (unless they are educational) $5 if you want to check out a bestseller, and $1 for anything you put on hold that comes from another location. (that would be almost everything in Albany). 😦

I was hoping to find the biggest library on the North Shore (my area) to avoid some of those hold fees. So when I was in Glenfield recently, I decided to check out their library.  Glenfield is about a 10min drive south and a little east of here.  I checked the map when I finished my errand and was sure I was headed right to the library by following the road I was on.  I was on the lookout for a mall because the library was located across the street.  After driving for a while, I started wondering if I had missed it somehow.  I noticed the road I was following had made some twists and turns and its name had changed, but that’s common around here. I was following the flow of traffic.  Just when I thought I should recheck the map, I was relieved to spot the mall!!  Yea!  and then a sign pointing me to the library.  Phew! I made it.

As I pulled up in front of what I thought was the Glenfeild Library, I saw a sign that read Takapuna Library.  Takapuna?  Where is that?  and then off in the distance I saw the deep blue waters of the beach!   I wondered how in the world I ended up here because Glenfield is not on the coast.  According to the map,  I had driven in the opposite direction of the Glenfield library and ended up at the front door of the Takapuna one which happens to be right next to the beach. Ha Ha.  When I walked through the doors of the Takapuna Library, I was so happy to see two floors and loads of books!  I had ended up at the biggest library (as confirmed by the library staff) on the North Shore. I thanked the universe and happily wandered the stacks collecting a bag full of books.

I took a nice walk on the beach before heading home.  Albany isn’t too far inland and north from Takapuna.  I left around 4:15 figuring it shouldn’t take more than 15min.  I was avoiding the highway since it was rush hour and figured I could follow the map reasonably well.  I was off and on my way driving along hoping I was going the right way when I saw a reassuring sign that indicated Albany was 10km away.  Next thing I knew that road ended and I made an unsure turn.  As I drove along I started to realize I was back in a beach town. oops I checked the map and turned myself around onto a road that I thought would lead me to the road I needed to be on to get home.  So, I’m driving along (it’s now about 20min since I left Takapuna) and run right into a familiar mall and then passed the sign directing me to the library……..I realize then, that I’m right back where I started in Takapuna.

AARRGGHHH!!! (that is not what I yelled inside my car). Then I just had to laugh at myself.  I did discover that Takapuna seems like a nice place to hang out, so I might spend more time there in the future.  This time I got myself on the highway and suffered the rush hour traffic for the short trip home.

I have some photos of the last day of my road trip. It was a day of mostly driving through very beautiful scenery and a stop at the Waipoua forest to visit the god of the forest, Tane Mahuta

this is the beach in Ahipara. It’s on the West Coast of New Zealand, so it’s the Tasman Sea.

a view of 90 mile beach from its southern base. It stretches to  the very north of New Zealand. At the end of 90 mile beach is Cape Reinga the very tip of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.  According to Maori legend, it is where spirits leave the physical world to return to Hawaiki.

some views from the road:

a lake

Waipoua forest

Maybe you can’t read that very well. So Tane Mahuta is the oldest Kauri tree in the forest and that sign tells the Maori legend of Tane Mahuta if you click on it, I think you could read it.



  1. Hi, yes, it made the pic bigger by clicking on it and I was able to read it, I love their stories! What saddness that it is the last tree standing…..can’t they get seeds from it and grow some?
    I was happy you found a great library and a beautiful beach, bring your blanket, snacks, and your books next time! Again, the pictures want to make me go to NZ all the more!!!! Just love the scenery……
    Love, Auntie

    • hi aunt J, it wasn’t the last kauri tree, it’s the oldest.

      • Oh Boy, that makes me feel better!! LOL

  2. i hope you take some photos of takapuna next time you go there (hopefully on purpose)! thanks for sharing that fun story. NZ seems to be full of my favorite colors.

  3. I guess if you’re going to drive in circles, albeit unintentionally, a New Zealand beach town is the place to do it! HA! I’m glad you found a decent library! LOVE the pics from your last road trip. Miss you!

  4. The last blog I read was when you got your car, so now I am all caught up. You should consider writing as a career, maybe a travel magazine. Love to read your blog and see the pics. Such beautiful scenery. Enjoy.
    Aunt Ro

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