Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hamilton's Gap, 1 July

Having jumped over the stream we head north
We set off south again to stop at Hamilton’s Gap on the west coast of the Awhitu peninsular. Another beautiful day as we set off jumping over a stream and walking north from the car park at the Gap. It’s another area of compacted sand which has been sea and weather eroded into some amazing shapes. There are also large chunks of what looks like iron ore encased in the solid orange sand and many of the rocks have small mussels encrusted on them, which glitter in the bright sunlight.

Mussel beds glittering

We walk around a protruding headland and looking back realise that the tide is coming up so we need to turn round and walk the other way to avoid being cut off. Seeing another car skeleton reinforces the decision; we don’t really want to be forced to climb up into the dunes.

Black sand, with orange compacted sand shapes, looking south

So after lunch we turn around and just south of the Gap we see a beautiful baby seal just dragging himself out of the surf. The poor little thing is clearly confused and not sure which way to go. We keep our distance though I’d dearly love to go up and stroke him. Eventually he turns around and heads back to sea and we can see his Mum swimming about off shore waiting for him.

Such an adorable little seal I wanted to take him home with me

Beatiful little rock pools

The rocks down this way are even more bizarre in shape and colour and we spend some time exploring. After heading back to the car we pass the best public toilets I think I’ve ever seen, with the exception of Hundertwasser’s in Kawakawa. It’s beautifully designed to fit with its surroundings, looking like it’s made out of drift wood and nestling into clumps of flax against the sand dunes.

Strange chap peering through a hole in the rock
Strange woman clambering about on rocks

One beautifully designed dunny

After our walk we drive up to the northern tip of the peninsular to the lighthouse and look across the mouth of Manukau Harbour to Whatipu where we’ve walked many times now. We can also see the Auckland CBD in the far distance across the width of the harbour.

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