There is a lot to like about Whangarei. Lots of walks and lots of lovely forest. Nice river. Cool new bridge. Friendly for motorhomers including a dump station made by people who care. We hung out in car parks and did some shopping and enjoyed the walks.
The sign above has 2 Welcomes, 2 Pleases, 1 Enjoy and you can’t help but feel the Love. Good on you Whangarei. And thanks for letting us stay for free. And by the way, we spent over $100 per day in your city while enjoying our stay.
Whangarei has a great loop walk around the river basin in the middle of the city. It’s a 4km walk with some nice new paved walkway. Lots of interesting artwork and several very cool bridges and more information boards than we had time to read. And every man, woman, kid, dog, and chicken out walking/running/scooting it. Build them and we will come.
The best bridge of all in the new bascule bridge. That’s a style of bridge, not the name of this one. The name of this one is Te Matau a Pohe (The Fish Hook of Pohe). It’s a rolling lift trunnion type of bascule bridge; as a matter of engineering interest. By the looks of all the other examples, the Whangarei bridge is the most stunning one anywhere in the world. It’s more like a sculpture. When art and engineering get together life gets spectacular.
We parked near the bridge for our last few days in Whangarei. We got used to the bridge-opening noises but never tired of the spectacle.
The whole operation took 5-7 minutes, starting with warnings for pedestrians and lowering of barrier arms for motorists. It was a slick operation and surprisingly fast once the raising started. The lifting is powered by the two yellow hydraulic rams visible on the central pier above. Here is a link for photos of the construction. The photo below gives more background on the bridge.
It was a lovely morning yesterday to be out taking photos of the bridge and the river. The trouble with the days lengthening is the nights shortening and the sun rising earlier. It’s hard to find the perfect solar system…