Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 390: Karekare Beach

Day 390  Tramp 432/412
Friday December 9, 2011 (New Zealand)
Karekare Beach - New Zealand
My Tripometer: 2 Hours 1.25 Miles +25 Feet

Today my goal was to complete our quest in the Waitakere Ranges.  There are enough trails in this area to keep me hiking for a month straight with no breaks.  Some tracks could take several hours but our mission is to keep it simple.  From Scenic Drive at Elevation Bar, turn down Piha Road.  About 15 minutes down Piha (45 minutes from Bethells) turn left to Karekare.  Drive slowly down the windy road and it will lead you to the car park. 

We saw some Chinese tourists who trounced through the water to reach the beach.  There was no other way from here to do it, but I thought this didn't make sense so...
...Cross the one-lane bridge

There are many one lane bridges off of Scenic Drive from Bethels to Whatipu.  Actually, in all of New Zealand.  One of the big headlines on the news while we were in town is that after a decade+ of complaints, an 80-year-old one lane bridge was finally replaced with a two lane bridge.  The reports state that traffic jams with up to a 45 minute wait were common.  --In these hiking regions, its absolutely not necessary to change the width of the bridge.  Of course, if the Scottish would have developed Cornwallis, this would have been a different story.

The trail to the beach begins on the otherside, just as I thought..
Looking back at the house built into the rocky hills

A Fantail

Oddly enough, when John and I were playing Chess the previous night, he mentioned this bird.  He explained that they are common in the area and will fly up behind you after you walk across the dirt.  As you trek, insects are commonly stirred up and the Fantail feeds off the insects.  I compared it to a dolphin following a boat.  The Fantail showed no fear.  He was quick but came within inches of us.


After a few minutes through the forest, you cut across the black sandy greenery and finally reach the beach.  It seemed longer than 10 minutes.  We pased several other trail options including a "Cave Track" which lead to a lookout, but we stuck with the beach path.
My lovely wife and my 99 cent shades

Deep Black Sand, much like Whatipu

The Tasman Sea was active

The water was so clear!


A birds retreat

With no roads in between, it would take several hours, perhaps all day to hike the beach all the way around to Whatipu.  This land is for sure special.
Interesting shells (you can hear the waves echoing from the rock wall)

Our children; Ayden & Alyssa

 A Bumble Bee

We did not intend to spend two hours here today, but we did.  Next, off to see some waterfalls...

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