Now days when I travel I prefer to spend extended periods of time in the places that I am visiting. The joys of staying for days or even weeks are numerous but my favourite is that I can “live like a local”while I am there, albeit for a short time.
This is exactly what I did on my trip to the Bay of Plenty, NZ where I stayed in Tauranga for a week. We enjoyed day trips every day, some small trips and some big ones including our trip to Hobbiton.
While staying in Tauranga we visited the waterfront both in the day and one evening when we went to the Harbourside Restaurant for dinner.
This stunning waterfront plays a vital role in the city of Tauranga. And this is where I was introduced to Hairy Maclary and Friends. I had not read any of Lynley Dodd’s books, in fact I had not heard of Hairy Maclary nor the author prior to my trip to Tauranga. What an absolute treat. While the book about Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy was being read to me as I was sitting at the statues I felt like a child again. This is such a fun serious of books.
These larger-than-life public art display of sculptures allow kids of all ages to get up close to Hairy Maclary and his friends in this beautiful setting on the waterfront. There is a well-written information board explaining the history of Hairy McClary and friends which is relatively easy to read.
I have seen many bronze statues, where people do not spend much time near them, whether in a park or museum, however, here people actually lingered, touched, petted, sat and wandered around the scene enjoying it from all angles. Young and old were all enchanted by the bronzes.
Just a little way along the waterfront is this piece of interactive art, “Wings to Fly”, mural on the Strand.
Are they a pair of angel wings? Or the wings of a hawk? Could they be wings of a tattooed vulture? I just stepped into the middle of the wings and became an Angel for a moment.
If you have the time when you are visiting the Bay of Plenty pop in to visit the Waterfront with its surrounding beautiful backdrop where there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops at the adjacent road.
The waterfront is truly a delightful place to stroll, relax, people watch and just take in the picturesque surroundings.