Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015 we decided to take a trip out to the Waitakere to a new place.  The Waitakere is a Regional Park and mountainous with lots of hiking trails and waterfalls.  It also includes many different bays and beaches, very beautiful.  We love going out here and it is only about an hour drive from Auckland.
Usually we go to the central portion of the Waitakere and today we decided to go to the southern area.  First bay we stopped at was Mill Bay.  The beach was short but not many people stopping.
 The weather was a little cool but the water was a pretty colour.  Nice little bay.
We crossed the narrow river on the foot bridge.

We love to just walk along the beaches and enjoy the waves and the breeze.

 Next stop was Cornwallis Beach.  All these Variable Oystercatchers were on one part of the beach.  As Reed approached they all lifted off the beach together.  To the right is the Cornwallis Old Wharf.
 The trees here in New Zealand are so big and interesting.

 We decided to walk all the way to the end of the wharf.  It has been rebuilt and the different planks had names on them from donors.
 The water was very clear and very deep.
 Beautiful view of the bay.
 The tide was all the way up to the seawall in Huia.
Mast from the HMS Orpheus worst shipwreck in New Zealand in 1863.  It was recovered 121 years later and given to the Huia Settlers Museum

These two ladies were volunteering in the museum and were full of knowledge of the area.  We really enjoyed visiting with them.

Above is Whatipu Lodge and the beautiful mountains of the Waitakere.  The old building is a very clean outhouse.
Whatipu reserve had a lodge, camp sites, a light house, caves and beautiful walks.
 This beach was huge.  The sand was very soft in some areas you would almost sink up to your ankles just walking.  The beaches in the Waitakere are black sand.
Looking towards Manukau Bay to the left and the Tasman Sea to the right.  Off this point is where the shipwreck took place.

The Tasman sea.  Interesting rock formation.
The light house was on this rock.  When the tide is out you can walk all the way out to the rock and climb up to around.
 We walked the beach for around an hour and did not even come close to the end.  We could have kept going for at least another hour but we decided to head back to the lodge area and try to find the caves.

Nada standing below the light house.  The wind really picked up when the clouds came in and it was pretty cool.  Then the sun came back out and it warmed back up.

We got back to the lodge area and found the trail to the caves.  There was a stream running most of the way.  It had been raining most of the week so the ground was very soggy and the stream had overflown in some areas.

 There were five different caves that we hiked to.  You can see Reed's shadow while taking this picture.  Nada is already part way in the cave.
 This was the main cave.  It was huge.  It goes back another 30 feet or so from where Nada is standing.  There were a couple of different coves inside the cave.  Someone had a party in the big cavern and left a lot of rubbish.
This cave had quite a bit of water in it.
The Tasman Sea is just on the other side of those rocks but you could not see it from this trail hiking to the caves.
Some we did not go very far in because they had quite a bit of water in them.  Others were very shallow caves.

We had a very nice p-day today.  We really love exploring and saw some new things today.  We left Whatipu Reserve around 6:30 p.m. as it was getting dark.  We work hard all week and try to use our Saturdays for exploring new and exciting places.  We feel blessed to serve here and see so many beautiful areas.  We hope you enjoyed our day in the Waitakere today.  We love you all and love The Lord.  We know He watches over us and blesses and guides us.  Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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