Sunday, 26 August 2012

Raglan w/e, 11-12 August

We decide on the spur of the moment to do a trip to Raglan again. The weather’s not looking great but it would be good to get away, so we book a 1 night stay in the Bunkhouse through Book-a-bach. It’s a self-contained unit at the back of a rented house, within easy walking distance of the town, and only $100 a night. It’s rather a beautiful morning as we drive south on Highway 1 early on Saturday. We stop at the i-site by Huntly for coffee and bump into Peta and Jem who are off to Cambridge for the w/e. Small world. The Waikato River, just outside the cafe window, is huge, swollen, and fast moving, because of all the rain.

Rainbow over the Bridal  Veil Falls
 We don’t plan to get to Raglan till evening, but our first choice for walking is closed because it's the lambing season, so we begin with a visit to Bridal Veil Falls. A short walk through bush and down masses of steps to the foot of the 55 m. falls. The air is wet with spray and there’s a rainbow near the base of the falls, which should, in my opinion, be called Running Tap Falls rather than a Bridal Veil.

Skirting the river which flows out onto Ruapuke Beach
From here we head for Ruapuke, a lonely black sand beach down a winding gravel road through farmland. Shoes off and we walk down beside a stream to the beach and wander along till we find a tree trunk for our lunch spot. The sea’s wild down here with huge plumes of spray being blown off the tops of the waves. After lunch we walk to the northern end of the beach crossing streams as we go. Mike tends towards the edge of the water while I meander along the high tide mark, beach-combing. At the top end of the beach we see people surfing on huge waves dodging the rocks which are scattered about.

Black sand sticks to wet feet
Back in the car it’s beginning to rain as we approach Raglan, but we find our way to the Bunkhouse and settle in. Fairly good facilities here though we plan to eat out tonight at the Orca Restaurant which we’ve been to before. The food didn’t disappoint and we return to the Bunkhouse feeling very full indeed, to watch a bit of the Olympics before bed. Having a working TV is always an added bonus to our w/e's away.

It’s still drizzling a little in the morning when we go out to the Blacksand Cafe for breakfast, then back to pack up the car. We take a look at the local Raglan market which like so many markets over here is very good, selling lovely kauri chopping boards which we can never resist. How we're going to get them back to Oxford we haven't worked out yet. There are also knitted goods, jewellery, jams, chutneys, clothes, local wine and olive oil, and of course loads of different food.

We take a short walk in the small Wainui Reserve and manage to get lost. By the time we’ve found our way out the rain has stopped so we go on down to Ocean Beach. It’s yet another black sand beach backed by dunes; the tide’s out and the beach seems to go on forever. We walk almost to the Surf Club at the end then turn back again. The sun’s just breaking through the clouds causing a mist to rise from the wet sand which meets the low cloud in places creating a beautiful silver haze.

Silver haze over Ocean Beach, Raglan
 We’re feeling pretty warm by now as we pop back to Raglan Market for a veggie curry lunch then set off to the Waingaroa Hot Springs which are situated on a back road to Auckland. It’s a lovely drive through green hills and valleys to the Springs and the route is dotted with mimosa trees, now in full bloom creating bright yellow splashes along the way. The hot Springs are good and relaxing, shame about the cold showers, which I couldn’t face, so I end up smelling of sulphur all the way home.

1 comment:

  1. As always is great to read your write ups on life down under as well as seeing the fabulous pics of New Zealand. Love the beach and must be odd the colour of the sand compared to what we used to back here.

    Hope all is good with you both. Take Care, Us lot :o) xxx