East-Cape-ing / by craig levers

Ok, settle in for a long post with lots of topics... exactly what they tell you at web log school not to do. 

But first the fun bits and then the bite.


Beautiful Mahiasian sundowners

The gorgeous Ange and I have been back a week now from an epic tour of the East Cape. We spent 10 days living out of the mighty Cambulance. The dates were locked in months ago, work, weddings and other events conspired to make the 10 days we had, the only 10 days we could have. As it turned out the weather pattern was not good for surf, there were doggy doors here and there, but as we travelled these surf doors closed. But that's cool, the Eastern shores have so much more to offer than just surf. 


The cambulance under a Tologa Bay night

Gizzy and The Cape hold so many memories for me, there was a time where I'd be in Gizzy at least once a month to shoot surf. You can't not get attached to the people and the places when you're doing that much time. Ange hadn't been often so I got to play tour guide. 


Cambulance finds an old friend parked up in Mahia 


Gizzy Island... temptingly close to pumping 


Tologa Bay Wharf... it's bloody long! 


The wharf under stars

It is often talked about, that the East Cape is a refreshing step back in time. I suspect East Capers would cringe at the generalisation, that what outsiders see at rustic, they experience as a lack of infrastructure and a region largely ignored by central government. Once thriving wharves and their associated towns are shadows of their former glory. The wharves were the link to the outside world, the way that stores were shipped in and wool and stock was shipped out. Coastal Shipping in NZ was a huge industry until roading and cattle trucks made it all largely redundant. 


Tokomaru Bay Woolstore exterior


Tokomaru Bay Woolstore Interior ... well it's not that internal to be fair

Of course this all makes for a photographic frenzy. Gritty studies of turn of the 19th century buildings and facades. Like any Kiwi photographer I'm hugely influenced by the work of Robin Morrison, his book A Sense Of Place published in 1984 was a watershed moment. New Zealanders were starting to move out from under Mother England's shadow and were slowly developing our own identity. A Sense Of Place reflected and in fact heralded that shift in culture. There's a brilliant docco short film, about Robin, in fact as he was dying of cancer here


The old Bank of New Zealand building Tokomaru 


The Bank of New South Wales, Tokomaru 


Beautiful mess Waipiro Bay 


Cambulance wave porn somewhere on the Cape


Cape Runaway from Waihau Bay... as seen in the book Beached As Then and Now 


Raukokore Church, an icon of the Cape


The Cambulance in full camp mode

10 days was good, but as always the familiar; but next time we need to spend longer at... or stay at... and then the surf has been good all this week in Gizzy, Dammit! - next time. 

Black Friday

It's gonna be a busy day Friday April 13th

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You may remember ...or not... there was a post last month about how absolutely shit Watercare's plan is to nail 10 acres of regenerated native bush in Titirangi. No? Well that post is HERE

I'm thrilled to be walking the talk and be involved in the group exhibition ON DEATH ROW which is opening on the next black friday, you can find out more about the exhibition and the cause HERE

But also that night is the grand finale of the The O'Neill Aotearoa Surf Film Festival

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Here's the remaining schedule for this season. You can book online HERE  

So whatcha gonna do? Do both! 

And speaking of Big Brother bulldozing...  


stolen from the Action Station petition site

In a really fucked up move... and I can write that 'cos that's how I feel about it; NZTA and NZ Rail are planning to reek havoc on a national treasure Mangaunu.

I could [and have in the past] waxed on about what a special place Mangaunu, Kaikoura is. About how as a grommie the very first surf centrefold I had on my wall was Warren Hawke's dawn line up of the point firing, it was my first bucket list listing. The fact remains Mangamaunu is one of 17 nationally significant surf breaks listed in schedule one of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement, so touching it is a dodgey move. Find out more about it HERE

From The Book Store  


Yeeooowww! The South Seas Book just landed a rave review and feature in the latest Smorgasboarder Magazine! Smorgasboarder is freely available in surfshops throughout New Zealand and Aussie, so landing that much space is pretty damn cool. Check out the South Seas book HERE