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Published: January 4th 2009
Glynn would like to welcome you all to pretty little Kawakawa Bay.
Ah, another hot sunny summer day, another good reason to get out and go adventuring. This time, the Firth of Thames was calling and the opportunity to visit one of the few regional parks south of the harbour bridge that we've yet to explore.
We started out later than planned after looking quite literally for a needle in a haystack of shops. Glynn needed some bits to stitch up a seam in his work trousers but could I find the damn travel sewing kit given to us by ay auntie Margaret and uncle Kevin before we left for the big trip around the world? Could I heck. We combed a selection of shops in Papakura and found everything we needed bar the needles. Who would have thought they'd be so hard to find? To our rescue came Woolworths the supermarket (no relation to the UK Woolworths in case you were wondering). With that job jobbed, off we sped in search of bush and beach and some of that glorious sunshine.
Our route took us through the pretty village of Clevedon but being late already we plowed straight through, vowing to return and give it our proper attention another time.
lovely lovely lovely Kawakawa Bay.
We then made our way to Kawakawa Bay and were relieved to find that the coastal road has been reopened following some serious landslips after the winter rains. Kawakawa Bay is a rather picturesque, sleepy looking seafront to the east of Auckland proper. We stopped for food and photos then continued on our quest.
The twisting road led us over the hills and faraway to the Firth of Thames and to the beautiful Tapapakanga (try saying that one out loud!) Regional Park. We immediately began our trek along the coastal walkway and were treated to some truly stunning views across the water and over to the Coromandel Peninsular in the distance. The shore was strewn with enormous chunks of driftwood and heaps of small bolders. Lining the coast was also a wonderful array of old pohutakawa trees which are also known as NZ Christmas trees for their red flowers and bright green leaves. The pohutakawas have blossomed early this year (which legends has it means a good summer is coming) and we were too late to see them at their best.
At one point we needed to cross a little stream but trust us to arrive at high
Pretty Fly for a White Guy
Jish tries to look cool in his mum's sunnies but really, doesn't he look more like a furry fly?
tide when the stream was at its trickiest to cross. Glynn was wearing his walking sandals so simply splashed through the water to the other side. As for me, well I had to time my move just right when the waves were drawing back and then I had to make an almighty leap for it. I'm pleased to say I made it to the other side and barely splashed myself in the process!
The path took up uphill and wound through dense bushland lush with vibrant green vegetation and which was evidently home to a lot of crickets or grasshoppers judging by the constant shrill all around us. The farthest point of our trek was to a remote backpackers campsite but I'm not sure I would want to overnight there with that racket going on all the time! Along the way round we also got to see an historic Maori site with tiny houses made from wood and the trunks of large ferns with rooves thatched with dried flax leaves (I think). It was a very tranquil place and a few of the local sheep seemed to appreciate the shade on offer there too.
The steepest part of
One of the two Maori pillars which greet you at the entrance to Tapapakanga.
our route took us to a lookout point and it was well worth the effort when we made it. From the top we could see not only across the Firth but also back behind us across the farmlands. It was a really lovely spot. While we stopped and got our breah back, we chatted to an elderly Korean man before heading back downhill and back to the beach.
It was 4pm when we were back at the car. A quick change of clothing later and we were running excitedly into the cool sea. It wasn't as cold here as it was in Martin's Bay the other day and it didn't take us nearly as long to muster up the courage to sink ourselves right in. We splashed about in the gentle waves, enjoying the relief on our aching legs and from the hot, hot sun.
If it weren't a work day tomorrow, I'm pretty sure we would have stayed much longer but home we had to go. At least we got to stop off for a customary ice cream on the way. Hmm, I just love hokey pokey ice cream! So, what have you been up to?
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