On our way to the heads, we pass our port of call number two, Te Rau Puriri Regional Park. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, almost wish we could have stopped, just briefly, as the light across the park and the harbour was spectacular, lit up with silvery sheen's and sea haze. They say tramping is food for the soul, and that view certainly was!!! Just gorgeous!
Arriving at Kaipara Heads the gate down to the beach was locked, so we had a really nice, unexpected 3km walk in, with the Kanuka lining the 4x4 road down to the beach. With low tide at about 8.38am, we still had ample time to enjoy the extremely picturesque Kaipara Harbour, that just happens to be the biggest harbour in the Southern Hemisphere.
With the tide out, the extensive sand bars revealed, the large numbers of sea birds, such as Oyster Catchers foraging for their brekkie! Some of the sand bars are large enough to sport a small forest of Kanuka's and others pretty sand grasses that look to be Spinifex from a distance. Wandering through the mangroves through worn 4x4 tracks, watching for the odd slightly sinky sandy bits as we work our way towards the point and a room with a view for lunch, most taking a lot of photos along the way, enjoying the flocks of birds sweeping around above the sand bars.
On the return to the bus, we dubbed one of our trampers "The Peacock", you had to be there, flapping arms and a bunch of found Peacock feathers adorning her pack! We spotted two lots of wild deer which explained some of the footprints further back along the foreshore earlier in the morning. They certainly don't hand around, gone in the blink of an eye on the 3km trek back to Big Yellow.
It's certainly a very beautiful harbour, but the view belies the treacherous waters as they eased back in through the deep turquoise channels. Onwards and arriving at Te Rau Puriri Regional Park, we have significantly less time to play with here, having done an extra 6kms at the Heads that we hadn't anticipated, so we only walked part of the way down this coastal park of dramatic rolling hills and stunning vistas. But next time, we'll spend more time here and explore the new tracks!
A brief stop at the dairy opposite Parakai Pools, for you guessed it, ice cream! And we headed back in fairly light traffic this week.
Another incredible day out of tramping adventures in our beautiful Auckland outdoors with an awesome bunch of trampers.