Monday, 18 August 2008

July Club Run

This commenced at the car park at Western Springs which is near the new Valentines Restaurant and was organized by Harvey and Val.

The group of club cars departed at 11am for West Auckland, going along the North Western Motorway, and then Highway 16 towards Kumeu, turning off on to the Riverhead - Coatsville Road, which in the distant past was a main route North towards Whangarei. We then turned off just before Coatsville on to a series of scenic side roads, going past the North Shore Aero Club, and later down Glenvar Road which takes one to Beach Road, which when followed goes through most of the Eastern Beaches which look out to Rangitoto Island which is a dormant volcano just off shore and is a prominent feature of the outer harbour.

We made our way through busy Takapuna, on to Lake Road which goes down towards Devonport where the Naval Base is located doing a circuit of one of their playing fields then on down interesting old streets to Devonport it’s self, where we stopped for lunch at "Clarrie’s" one of the many cafes.

Devonport is a mixture of old and new there are a lot of Art Gallerys, antique stores and small select stores and is busy on a weekend with sightseers wandering in and out the shops. After lunch and a wander about we all returned to the parked cars, and departed to Vauxhall Street where the museum we were to visit at 2pm was, it is in an old church behind some trees and a big gate which was very tightly shut and apparently according to some local residents was going to stay that way.

So to Plan B, go home or go somewhere else, John and Janice left to visit relatives while the Brewers and us decided to go to North Head where the first pilot station for Auckland was established in 1840. Then the first Defense System for Auckland was originally established this was used by both the army and the navy. The army left in 1950 and the navy in 1996.

North Head is a volcano it’s proper name is Maungauika, the first guns were installed in 1885 and for a number of years afterwards prisoners were used to reconstructed the gun sites and build tunnels and storage underground for searchlights and magazines for the guns installed there. Three disappearing guns were installed there as well; one still remains and is now one of the few left in the world.

We spent some time there climbing all the over the mountain going in and out the tunnels and gun placements a very interesting afternoon was had.Those who went all had club cars they were Harvey and Val (organizer), John and Janice, and Bud and Thelma.