For Tanya’s birthday on 16 August, we went on a voyage of discovery to Onekiritea/Hobsonville .
We caught an early morning Richmond Road bus to the city, walked to Pier 4 near the downtown Ferry Buildings and caught the 9.00am commuter launch on its return to Hobsonville in the upper Waitemata Harbour (plenty of room – we were the only two passengers and had marvelous views of the city and the harbour as we travelled).
There’s a new Fabric Café on the wharf at Hobsonville Point, where we had a splendid breakfast, took our very first selfie together, and then set out on the 5km circular path around Hobsonville Point and Village.
The path takes in many of the large public art installations in this new growing township, beginning with the elegant Virginia King sculpture on the wharf.
There’s a guerilla knitters’ colourful mantle on a pohutukawa tree on the way up from the Point, and a splendid wall sculpture by Louise Purvis.
Hobsonville, the former air force base north of Auckland, is rapidly becoming a satellite town, with approximately 1500 homes completed and occupied now, and around 3500 inhabitants. It is estimated to reach a population of about 11,000 eventually.
It’s good to see quality medium-density housing from several different building firms (Ockham has a particularly attractive group of buildings there, Bernoulli Gardens, named after the 18th century physicist whose work established some core principles of the mechanics of flight).
The town is also developing as a multi-age community, with excellent early childhood, primary and secondary school facilities and a large retirement village as well as family homes of various sizes.
Our walk around the perimeter of the town took us about an hour and a half. When we returned to the wharf we caught a bus to Westgate via West Harbour. Another bus took us from Westgate to Grey Lynn, and a short walk home. We loved seeing all the different views from paths, boat and buses, new aspects of our city and old ones in sharp contrast.
We also look forward to the time when the town of Hobsonville celebrates its thousand years of Maori history in the area as thoroughly as it does its century and a bit of Pakeha life and Air Force activity.