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Published: December 10th 2010
I forget if this is Sandy Bay or another further on...
Wednesday morning I left Auckland (& most of my luggage) & set off on the ferry to Waiheke Island, one of the many volcanic islands that dot the bay. Many people live on Waiheke & several commute to Auckland for work. I got a bus from the ferry terminal up to Hekerua Lodge in Oneroa (the main settlement on the island) & it turns out that whilst the dorms are packed no one is willing to cough up the few dollars extra for a share room of 3 so I had the room to myself which was kinda nice. That after noon I armed myself with a villafe map & a walks booklet & set off to explore Oneroa & its surrounds. From Little Oneroa Beach I went up the main street, cut down through Alison Park (which contained several sculptures), around Te Huruhi Bay reserve & down to Huruhi Bay & Blackpool Beach. From here I opted for the longer walk & went around Matenga Point before heading back to Little Oneroa Beach. Since it was only mid afternoon I decided to do another loop, this time heading north from the beach, through Newton Reserve & around the headland. I
then dropped down to Sandy Bay and over another headland to Enclosure Bay before cutting up through McKenzie Reserve (which is being replanted) & along to the lookout over Palm Beach where I chose to sit in the shade and read & listen to a our guide telling his passangers about Great Barrier Island, visible on the horizon. I headed back to the hostel for food & spent the evening in the common room with the TV & my book (alternating as someone changed the channels from good to bad tv!)
Thursday I had the whole day so set off early to get the bus over to Rocky Bay & Whakanewha Regional Park I spent the whole morning & a little of the afternoon wandering through the park, occassionally stopping for a while to read my book in the nicer spots. First off I headed to the beach a it was high tide & spotted several variable oystercatchers, 2 New Zealand Dotterel & 3 Pied Stilts. Lovely place to wander around, although I’d recommend avoiding the central track as its a bit boring in comparison to others! Again it was only mid afternoon when I finished wandering through the
Not as excting as the name suggests!
park so I decided to follow a walk around the coast. This proved easier said than done but with the help of a couple of lovely locals I found the walkway & set off from Omiha Bay to Kuakarau Bay & then Hitapa Bay. The path then cut across the headland & dropped to Dead Dog (Okoka) Bay before climbing bask over to join the main road where I eventually found a bus stop to take me back to the hostel for an evening similar to the last except for the loud music coming through the wall & giving me a headache!
For my last day I had decided to walk back to the ferry around the coast. I set off along Oneroa Beach then climbed over the first headland & round to Island Bay getting some good views down on Fossil (aka Double U) Bay on the way. The coastal track then climbed over another headland before dipping to Owhanake Bay. Here I failed to spot the coastal path leading onwards & ended up detouring up a steep track to the road before finding another track down to the coast a little further on. I then followed the
coastal track (“Experienced trampers only”) through the Matietie Historic Reserve around to Matiatia Bay with a couple of stops (on the beach & under a Christmas Tree) to read a bit more book. Finally with only 2 small rocky outcrops between me & the wharf I thought my walk nearly over, however I could find no path to the whard without going inland & all the way up to the road then back down again! I got there in time to get a cup of cool water from the nice lady in the coffee booth before boarding & returning to Aucland.
All in all a very pleasant trip, my foot seems to have healed up nicely after removing that second shard of wood, although both feet & legs are complaining slightly after the hours of walking up & down steep paths for the past few days!
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