Saturday, September 5, 2009

Visiting Long Bay

Long Bay, also known as Okura, is one of my favourite places in the Auckland region. I even like the long and wounding bus trip to get there -- the buses are frequent, and go through other interesting parts of the East Coast Bays and North Shore. The views are well worth it.

My friend Bill Ellis deserves credit for pointing this out to me: a gun emplacement from World War II, still standing guard, tangled in pohutukawa roots.

Vaughan Homestead, the base for the Torbay Historical Society, is a jewel tucked up and away at the end of the bay. Bit of a trek to get to by foot from the bus stop, but on a brilliantly fine day (like today), the house repays the effort by its splendour.

The Society's museum at the top of the stairs is worth a look as well.

How long this view remains uncluttered by our suburban "progress" is unknown. There's a campaign running to try to protect the environs of the park. More info here.

Update 22 September 2009: Just had an email today from Bill & Barbara Ellis, of the Torbay Historical Society (which administers Vaughan Homestead).

"The rocking chair belonged to Margaret Vaughan - the first 'lady of the house'

"The little building was used to house prize dogs.  We are planning to do it up as gum store ( the original gum store became derelict and is no longer there).

"The gun emplacement is one of the three that were on Long Bay. It is the central one, the other 2 being at each end of the beach overlooking the Bay.  There is also one in private property on Beach Road just up from the Park entrance  - That one would have covered anyone coming up the Awaruku Stream

"The Homestead -  was restored to reinstate the verandah and the dormer windows as they were in 1895."

Cheers, folks, much appreciated.

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