I have been going for a different walk from my new place every day since I've been here. Talking to my neighbours on the same driveway as me, who are also keen walkers, it sounds like I will never run out of new places to explore on foot from home. They have been here three years and are still finding new walks in the hills behind our houses.
Last night I followed the main track past the pines but following Cathy's suggestion soon left it, to follow the stream through paddocks. There are lots and lots of totora everywhere around here, mostly covered in droopy grey lichen. The stream has some really pretty bits cutting through mossy, ferny rock, babbling over stones. There are a couple of goodlooking water holes where I intend to go for a dip while the weather is still hot. Apparently the water is very clean, good enough to drink and even better than the rain water which supplies our houses. Most of the paddocks are overgrown and weedy because the previous owner wasn't running enough stock.
My neighbours, who have welcomed me very warmly (I spent last evening drinking bubbly with them), have offered to take me on a big walk today, showing me lots of good tracks and taking me to the top of the big hill to get an overview of the area..
It was a great walk... much more adventurous than I would have attempted on my own so soon. But I was very sad to find a dead kiwi at the top of the hill. Obviously only recently killed and not eaten by whatever killed it, the big adult's (chicken-sized) only visible injury was a small patch without feathers and with scratch marks on it. I've never seen a real kiwi in the wild before, (for non-NZ readers, the kiwi is an endangered species, and nocturnal and very shy) so I was sad but also very interested to be close enough to touch one.