Saturday was a beautiful day here in Auckland and after having seen much of the Waitakere Ranges on the west coast (can you spot Piha on the map?) it was about time to explore the South Coast of this beautiful Regional Park which is at the same time the coast line of Manukau Harbour. Driving from Hillborough Bay via Titirangi, Cornwallis and Huia all the way out to Whatipu Beach:
There were some beautiful lookouts on the way but most impressive was Whatipu – the beach at the very end of the road, known for its windswept dunes, the turbulent Manukau Harbour entrance and the wetlands (which I got to experience in a very wet way). The good tourist I am I got additional information from the Arataki visitor center so I can tell you a bit about the history as well: For 800 years Maori favoured this part of the Ranges because of its rich resources, including shark. (We happened to see a big splash in Huai bay and of course believe it was a shark.) Another important fact: In 1863 New Zealand’s greatest maritime disaster occurred here when the HMS Orpheus was wrecked and 189 lives were lost. Today the region has an important role as a water catchment area with both the Lower Nihotupu Dam and the Lower Huia Dam. I had forgotten my camera so I only took a couple of pictures with the mobile (including a funny tourist posing for me):
I couldn’t quite catch the beauty of this place so I’ll borrow a picture from another blog to show you what the place looks like from above, looking out on the Tasman Sea and Manukau Harbour entrance at the left).