Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Another gorgeous day in Paradise

Well today has been another lovely day.

I left the campground around 8:30 this morning and headed back to Matakawau to take Kemp Road towards the lighthouse at Manukau Heads.

It was an interesting road, narrow, steep and windy amid some awesome countryside.

The Awhitu Peninsular is an ancient sand dune which gives it the amazing valleys and ridges that we see today.

The lighthouse at the end of the road is only a replica and doesn’t actually have a light inside, but still has the lens and prisms.

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

The views from the lookout are amazing and you can see the other side of the harbour, the Waitakere Ranges, the famous Destruction Gully, Whatipu and Paratutae Rock, which is the sight of the first Signal Station before it was transferred to the south side after the sinking of the HMS Orpheus which sank in 1863 with the loss of 189 lives. It is still New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster.

The signal station is still in use today, guiding ships over the Manukau Bar, into and out of the Manukau Harbour.

View from lighthouse at Manukau Heads

The Fredrock Cafe in the carpark below the lighthouse.

From there I backtracked a bit and turned down Boiler Gully Road and headed off towards Wattle Bay, which is a lovely little bay on the northern end of the peninsular.

After a wander down the black sand of Wattle Bay, I headed across to Orua Bay where I am for the night.

I wandered along the beach before a late lunch and found a wonderful sight…

In the distance I saw some strange things amongst the branches of the tree but thought they might be fish drying or something similar and was very surprised to see the number of jandals (flip flops or thongs) hanging on the tree. this is at the end of a long beach and will ask about it tonight.

Had a long chat to a gentleman today who I first saw down on the beach fishing unsuccessfully. He and his wife are going to be picking up their new motorhome from Trailite in Pukekohe on Friday, so he was asking all sorts of technical questions and raised an interesting point about open alcohol containers in the vehicle. He asked a final question which the answer I gave him got him thinking. “What are you going to do with the rest of the day?” I must admit that I did laugh. “I have 1700 books to read, I will do some house work, write my blog, have a nap, watch some TV, walk the beach, go for a bike ride, go fishing, go for a paddle in the kayak…..not sure yet, but will do one, some or all of the aforementioned things”  The look on his face was priceless.

So tomorrow… who knows, the weather forecast is for rain, but the locals say ignore that and look out the window in the morning.

Another day of glorious sunshine here the wind is up a little keeping the temperatures down a little.