Thursday, 2 August 2012

Piha Beach

28 July
We’ve walked a string of west coast, black sand beaches from Whatipu in the south to Muriwai in the north  but for some reason we’ve not been down to Piha, so today’s the day. We’ve switched our walking day to Saturday this w/e as the weather looks foul tomorrow, but today it’s a beautiful warm sunny Winter’s day as we drive north west over to Piha.

Stopping to look down over Piha Beach, with Lion Rock standing proud in the middle
Kitikiti Falls
We begin by doing a short walk along a stream, up to the Kitikiti waterfall, a pretty walk through bush which involves crossing a number of streams on stepping stones (a pet hate of mine as I’m not fond of slippery rocks). Back at the car park a lot more cars have arrived and we meet a man who tells us a documentary is being filmed here about the fairy myths of New Zealand. Shame we missed them: lots of children dressed up as fairies with a smoke machine for atmosphere.

The lagoon with Lion Rock behind. The zombie ducks begin to approach

We drive on down to park by a duck covered lagoon in front of Lion Rock and start booting up. Very gradually ducks begin making their way towards us from all directions, they’re obviously used to being fed. They make slow deliberate progress looking for all the world like duck zombies homing in on their pray. And they don’t stop coming, so eventually we have ducks all around us pecking at our boots and ankles.
Zombie Ducks pecking my boots

Leaving the zombie ducks we wander on down to the beach to climb Lion Rock which stands majestically in the middle of the beach close to the shore so it must be accessible at high tide too. Great views though it’s no longer possible to climb right to the top.

The river runs from the lagoon to the sea on the left of Lion Rock
View looking north along Piha Beach from (nearly) the top of Lion Rock. Our planned walk goes up onto the hills and out to the headland in the far distance

We’ve planned a circular walk which should take us from Beach Road up into the bush, onto the headland, along a ridge, and then down to return along the beach. It’s a combination of 3 or 4 named tracks and is quite well sign posted. Lovely cool bush along a stream to start with then we’re climbing quite steeply upwards and I’m finding it quite hard going. It’s muddy underfoot in places but eventually we get out onto a good path at the top from which there are views down to Piha. Then we’re walking steeply down an access road which leads to a couple of isolated houses below us, and we find a bench for lunch before continuing out onto the furthest point which looks down to Whites Bay one side and Piha on the other. We spend a while watching surfers below us being towed out by a jet boat to catch the waves back inshore. Saves them a lot of hard work I guess.

View from the headland down onto Whites Bay where the surfers were getting a lift on a jet boat
Hard to believe it's mid-Winter
Down the path to the beach and we walk back towards Lion Rock, watching the surfers. Lots of people on the beach now, almost like Summer. Back at the car the zombie ducks are attacking a couple of German girls.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog about my home Village. :-)