Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 388 (continued): Whatipu Black Sand Beach

Whatipu (Pronounced "fatty poo")

Day 388  Tramp 429/409
Wednesday December 7, 2011 (New Zealand)
Whatipu Scientific Reserve - New Zealand
My Tripometer: 1 Hour 1.5 Miles +50 Feet

Whatipu is located in the most remote portion of the Waitakere Ranges.  Was it worth the long drive?  Absolutely!  This is the most amazing black sand beach that I have ever been to!  It surpasses Bethells and rivals the Hawaian Beaches Day 151: Polulu Valley Lookout and Punaluu Black Sand Beach from Day 152


To get here, you'll need to drive down a long windy road.  You'll be following the sea for a long while but then the road turns up into the hills.  Finally, it lowers to Whatipu and lookout, there will be wild birds!  This area is protected and if you want to plan an entire day here, you could.  According to the sign, there are caves just a 20 minute trek from the carpark.  Instead, we took the 5 minute route to the beach...

In New Zealand, "WH" is prounced "F" much like "PH"

On this day, the beach water was warmer than Bethells and the wind was calm.  However, when we stepped over to the far eastern part of the beach between the boulder walls, the wind and sea picked up.  Looking at the map, I am assuming this body of water is known as the Wonga Wonga Bay and the main beach is still part of the Tasman Sea.

I climbed the rock wall and discovered that the rocks were very loose.  I nearly lost it half way up, big mistake.  I wish we had more time here but we were an hour and a half from our cottage and Jess promissed to Skype Ayden at 7:30.  The time just turned 7:00 to we ran back to the car and drove to the cottage in a fury.

***Earlier that day...

Our day began with the morning 4x4 ride and Cascade Falls hike that I wrote up in my last blog post.  After that hike, we drove out to Scenic Road and turned right.  Along the way, directly across from Piha Road, we discovered a cool hang out:

 Beer at Elevation Bar

 Views of Auckland from afar

Day 388  Tramp 427/407
Wednesday December 7, 2011 (New Zealand)
Arataki Visitor Centre & the town of Titirangi - New Zealand
My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours 1 Mile +25 Feet

 Arataki Visitor Centre (Center)

 There are some short walks here and good info of theWaitakere Ranges inside

 Christmas Carols


 Capsicums are what they call peppers (good to know when ordering a pizza)

We explored the entire town and it probably was not worth the stop.  That being said, we did refill our beer and stock up on snacks :)

Day 388  Tramp 428/408
Wednesday December 7, 2011 (New Zealand)
Cornwallis Beach (Te Karanga-a-Hape) - New Zealand
My Tripometer: 1 Hour 1 Mile +25 Feet

 This place was run down (IMHO)

 Shells on the beach facing Manukau Harbour

Cornwallis could have become a metropolis.  That would have destroyed the prestine of the Waitakere Ranges from overpopulation.  --Leave it natural!

 Cornwallis Wharf

...The drive continued down Huia Road to the small town of Huia:

 Huia Bay

Hair donated by Snuffalufagus from Sesame Street

 The road to Whatipu

Sunset over Bethells

...Long Day...

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