So it's mid winter now, the forecast was pretty rotten for today's tramp, but thankfully the weather decided otherwise, and it was fine this morning. So a bumper crop of club members and good bunch of newbies rolled up ready to tramp and off we set out to Karekare in Big Yellow.
Upon alighting from our bus up high at 270 metres on Log Race Road, we're blasted with reasonably strong wind gusts whilst enjoying the amazing views straight away. Breaking into our different group speeds we head via the boot station and off down hill, with views across Karekare and the Mercer Bay Loop below us and the Tasman Sea to our right. And the vistas become even more beautiful, especially as we're standing looking down to the dramatic dark sands below.
Ahu Ahu Track still under going re-surfacing, so we happily head down the very scenic Comans Track that was re-surfaced a year ago. The track is holding up reasonably well so far. Being another cliff top track, with many lookout spots along the way, there are plentiful options for amazing photos.
Dropping down into the valley, we head up to Karekare Falls, that even some long standing members of the club had never visited before! First the little "Spa pool" as we call it, then the big falls, certainly didn't disappoint, with plenty of water flowing over the top into the large pool at the base, making it a perfect spot for early lunch. The normally omni-present Eels, are elusive today. As we leave the falls, discussing and hoping that maybe one day Taraire Track will be re-opened so we can walk up to the top of the waterfall again and make a nice loop.
After lunch we walk along one of the dune tracks out to Karekare Beach to follow the stream to the northern end of the beach. Stopping to admire some gorgeous, rather confident little Pipits.
Weaving our way up the dune track the other side of The Watchman (massive nog of rock) the weather still holding out, but the skies looking as dark as the sand! The odd tiny droplet of rain, preparing for the 270 metre climb back up to the bus, many relegating jerseys into packs before boots being scrubbed and sprayed for the third time to help eliminate the spread of Kauri Dieback.
The one bonus of going back up a track you've done, especially such a scenic track is you see things from a different angle and take different photos, either with your camera or to keep for ever in your memory.
Two thirds the way up we stop at the big lookouts and the view of the sheer cliff face, that boasts the tallest sea cliffs in Auckland at 270 metres. A few more photos at the last big lookout above, and we enjoy the last of the progressive track back up to Big Yellow.
All groups back on the bus, and no rain to speak of, and we're on our way, very thankful that the forecasted weather held off.
Another amazing day out with the club, and awesome to be able to share a few areas of track that others hadn't done before.