The Great Oh Waily Jungle Adventure

Cross-posted from The Pukeko Patch.  Apologies to those who read both.

My lovely children began asking me to take them on an adventure yesterday.  Everyone, including me, was just too tired to do anything about it though.  Instead today I made a plan and we headed out on our adventure just before lunchtime and got home just before dinnertime.  A very full day of adventuring was had.

The request was to drive somewhere and get lost.  And we had to end up in a jungle, eventually.  Clearly a real jungle is out of the question in this part of the world, but a bit of farmland and bush is completely doable.  So with a bit of imagination and pretending, we drove through a forest jungle today.  A brief jaunt up the main highway to Waikanae before turning off to head up Akatarawa Road.  It was the perfect choice for adventure – hills, forest bits, covered in patches of road, bush, hilltop views of the sea and valleys, single lane roads and, eventually a place where animals lurk.

The lurking is more like wildlife reserving, but hey that’s what imagination is for.  And for the adventure songs that were dreamt up and sung in the car.

We spent the best part of two and a half hours wandering around feeding various fowl, farm animals, and playing by the stream and walking over the wobbly bridge.  The pushy goats were still pushy and persistent, Bob the Clydesdale was still big and slightly worrying, but the rabbits were cute, furry and pat-able.   The peacocks and the cockerels were loud and almost seemed to have perverse pleasure in letting out a loud screech when you had no idea they were a couple of feet behind you.  The trout seemed even larger and more edible than ever, while the swans seemed laid back and relaxed.

Here are a few snapshots of the day out.

Feeding Ducks

At this point we had just fed some ducks, had a harem following us, and had discovered the geese enjoying themselves on the lake. I’m not quite sure what had caught Master Oh’s attention, but clearly he wasn’t looking away in a hurry.

On the Wagon

The Oh Waily kids, and friend, on the wagon in the BBQ area. Very nice spot this and new, I think, since the last time we visited. I left Master Oh’s hat in the car so he had to make do with his sister’s old one and clearly it does not quite fit him as well as it does her.

In the Aviary

They really need to work on their “cheese” faces, don’t they?  This is in the kea aviary, where we saw two sleepy-ish keas up close. One kept his beak under his wing, but a beady eye open and on the not so subtle children invading his home. But don’t you just love the exit? I had to duck down to get out, and I am no giant.

Playing in the old bank

Then in the bush settlement area they just had to play in the bank. Great fun.

Staglands makes for a fun day out for the kids.  A goodly bit of wildlife to finish off the Great Oh Waily Jungle Adventure day.  Oh and the ice cream and ice block at the cafe afterwards didn’t hurt either.

I wonder what they’ll think of doing next?

New Shoes

And a day ahead of expectations, Amazon delivers the new season of Keen shoes to the Oh Waily children.

Here they are, in their own choice of colour…

New shoes

Sorry. The photograph isn’t the best. That’s what you get when you take them in the evening with no decent lighting. I will get some in action photos tomorrow and will add them to the subsequent post when the next shipment arrives. But you get the idea. Blue (bright & light) and pink (bright) were the colours of choice. Hmmm. Yes.


As you will be well aware, Sunday is pancake day in our house.  This morning, however, we started the day off with an early visit to the fruit and vegetable market in town.  We were done with the shopping by 8am and then went for a walk around the waterfront and up to Waitangi Park where the kids played on the swings, swivel chairs and climbing equipment.  Eventually I convinced them it was time to go home, but on the way back to the car we stopped off at one of the market stalls.

We indulged in crêpes in the French style.  Miss Oh and Master Oh shared a scorching hot lemon and sugar crêpe while I had a nutella crêpe.  Oh it was all down to the memory of having one of these some decades earlier in France.  It started out tasty and chocolatey and ended up super-sweet and ‘oh why did I choose this?’  Still, it was a nice change from our home made variety and the clean up was incredibly easy.

Do you think they enjoyed it?  I know she looks a little worried – that’s because it was hot hot hot and we ended up using the paper plate as a wrap to hold on to it and munch around the much cooler edges.


Art, retail or paleontology?

Today the Oh Wailys went to Te Papa for the afternoon.
I thought I would share the usual haunts with you, plus a couple of new items that may be adding themselves to the kids’ regular visit list from now on.

You may have already worked out that Miss Oh Waily is something of a techno-chick.  She loves to get her hands on any sort of technology, so it’s no surprise that when we hit Te Papa she heads for a couple of the computer activities up at the Inspiration Station on level 4.  This is their usual first and most favoured stop.


Here is the self-portrait that she was working on when I made her stop long enough for you to see the front of her head rather than the back.

Self Portrait

Clearly she shares someone’s sense of art, I’m just not sure whose.

I wasn’t so successful in turning Master Oh Waily around for a photograph, so you will have to be doing with the back of his head.
That rather hideous and, in my opinion, scary looking baby behind the bars is one of the feature attractions at the Inspiration Station for my kids. My question: ‘What do you want to go see this time?’ Their answer: ‘The baby, the shaky house and the drawing computer.’

Scary baby

And, as my blurry photograph below proves, the baby involves action. Lots of levers for hands large and small to push and pull. So it is actually possible to make this hideous entity even more evil and vile with a flick of the wrist and push of the arm.

In action

In the same section you can also let your children pretend to run a shop or a dairy. Master Oh decided that perhaps he would like to do that today, with the old-fashioned till and a small basket full of fake plastic foodstuffs. There’s business-minded genes in that there child.

A retail future?

Just outside the Inspiration Station next to some seating for weary travellers, there is a new little bit with this famous painting mocked up. I couldn’t resist, so here for your viewing pleasure is Ms Cook and Mstr Cook. And for comparison, here is the original.

Ms Cook

Mstr Cook

After this we headed to the cafe for some much needed refreshments and then outdoors to dig for dinosaurs. Maybe I might manage to pass on my unhealthy interest in the past to my two offspring…

Could I convince my girl to be a paleontologist, perhaps?


The lad certainly ended up enjoying the tactile fun that is grovelling around in dusty gravel looking for a mosasaur*.

Digging for dinosaurs

And the two of them in the pit looking at their handy work. And it was hard work apparently judging by the littlest family member’s need to lie down.

In the Pit

All in all, a successful outing to the museum was had by everyone.

* albeit a concrete one. 😉