Today's planned trip was to start on new ground for the club in the Waiuku Forest...... upon reaching our turn off, Big Yellow ground to a halt! A big sign had gone up during the week to say that the forest was closed due to the high fire risk. Probably more for motor-cross bikes, quads and 4x4's, than trampers, but closed is closed.
So after quick team discussion, Karotahi Beach was the closest, only 15 minutes away & only a couple people had been there. Decision made.
Being the wild west coast, as we parked the bus, the sound of the waves crashing down on the foreshore greeted us.
The cliffs above us, the striking colour of the still lush flax against the vivid yellow and orange eroding stone, the group started our walk south along the beach with the lovely Castaways Restaurant above us and the Lifeguards busily preparing things as we strode past.
We pass a few upturned, rusting car bodies being weathered by the elements before we rest for lunch then continuing south to the mouth of the Waikato River.
Retracing our steps back to the bus, the light is still soft, the clouds wafting across the skyline, spume from the waves and sand drifting creating a gentle haze. Eyeing up the odd cooling fresh water waterfall as we pass.
Even though the beach is a shared use area, more motor-cross bikes, quad bikes, dune buggies and 4x4's, they're very respectful of us all, and give us plenty of space. And keep us entertained with wheelies and stunts as they pass.
Another stunning, very warm day out with the club, about 16kms covered and we get to do the intended tramp another time.