Black Sands of West Auckland

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January 13th 2010
Published: January 13th 2010
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It's a sunny Sunday so it's time to head to the beach. I had actually written on our calendar "Day Out!!!" a few days back so we were doing something if it killed me. Yes the usual picnic was packed. We were only heading to West Auckland which meant less than an hours drive so that meant hubby could watch his football match in the morning first. Poor thing has been suffering actually as he has to get up early to watch his matches, he is and always will be a firm Inter Milan supporter! There are a few beaches in West Auckland that we want to check out and we decided on Bethell's Beach today.

When we arrived at the carpark we were shocked to see that it was already full! Thankfully on arrival at the beach we realised that actually there was still plenty of space left for us. I am going to tire of writing this in my blogs at some point and take it that people will just know now that yes NZ beaches are big. The general environment is wild and beautiful. Don't let the idea of the black sand scare you the only downside is that it gets very hot!

We were aware before coming that this was not the best swimming beach and this was blatantly obvious on arrival. The water was very rough and the waves were pretty big. We had no plans of heading into the water today. They recommend to swim between the flags where the lifeguards are on duty and the space I noticed between the flags was not all that big. That was where most of the people were actually congregated on the beach so that I guess they had quick access to the water. A lot of children were out in the water doing what looked like lifesaving lessons. Not much swimming was happening but rather a lot of body boarding and if you did not have a board a lot of jumping up and down as you hit by the waves. There was also a small 'lake' which you pass before reaching the beach which a lot of families were making use of for swimming.

Before settling down we went for a walk over a saddle to O'neills Bay which was a lot quieter than Bethells, just as dramatic and the sea was just as rough. The impression is of these big rocks and a cave breaking the spaces of beach adding drama and thankfully a bit of shade. This bay drags the surfer's in especially later in the day when the waves start to get even higher.

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