Justin and I spent the day Saturday exploring the wild, west, black sand beaches of Waitakere Regional Park northwest of Auckland. The park is less than an hour drive from our apartment with about half of the travel time due to the winding, narrow roads through the park to the coast. It is hard to explain the roads but they wind through a thick forest with barely enough room for your car in the lane. So with every switch back I was afraid another car would be coming and cut the corner just a little bit into our lane! But Justin did a great job and remembered to stay on the left hand side of the road every time!
We explored Piha beach first hiking up a small cliff/rock and then walking down the beach. It is a popular beach for surfing due to the huge waves but you really need a wetsuit because the water is pretty cold. We got our feet wet but that was it. We walked past one part of the beach to climb the cliff/rock while the tide was low but by the time we headed back, the tide was much higher. As Justin tried to "shoot the gap" between waves, he stepped in a hole and dunked his shoes in the water (which were in his hands) while saving the camera with the other. Since Justin's shoes were soaked, we didn't get to do any tramping this trip and settled for a nice long walk down the beach (at least 30 minutes in one direction without reaching the end).
After Piha, we drove a few kilometers down the road to Karekare. The road to Karekare made the road to Piha look wide and luxurious! It was a one lane road with the same constant switchbacks. We even encountered our first one lane bridge. Karekare was beautiful and probably the largest sand beach I have ever been on. It went on forever!
|Piha Beach from our Cliff/Rock|
|Lindsay on the Beach|
|Justin walking at low tide|
|Tramping up the Cliff/Rock|
|South Piha Beach|
|Looking back at Piha Beach from the Cliff/Rock|
|Walking to KareKare (that is a fresh water river running to the ocean)|
|Looking across the huge Karekare Beach|