Jan 23 - Te Henga
Still caught in the grip of the travel bug, we made good on an idea we'd had last Autumn and headed through the Waitakere Ranges out West to the beaches nestled amidst the rugged rocks. First, Rosie's favourite, Te Henga, or Bethell's as it's for some reason popularly known. Not swimming weather, but even if it were the sea jellies would have put a stop to any paddling aspirations, but the imposing cliffs, partially eaten by the steady punding of wind and water over the years, made for a spectacular backdrop to the crashing waves. Not feeling inclined to tackle the clifftop walk, we attempted to follow the somewhat elusive track up towards a hidden lake beyond some interestingly placed inland sand dunes. A most peaceful spot - next time I think we'll aim for a nicer day for a picnic and a dip.
With still plenty of time left in the day we headed back in to work our way back out to the next beach down, the surfing aclaimed Piha - which was currently hosting the World Junior (U18) Surf Championships. Extremely busy, but we continued to the North end of the beach for a bit of peace and quiet, before returning up to the ridgeline to delve down to the last beach down that stretch, Karekare, to which Rosie hadn't even been. A narrow twisting road leads down to the small township, and a fairly long walk through the tussock covered dunes leads to a smaller but by no means less scenic stretch of sand. Quite a lot more effort required to reach than its neighbours, but all the more rewarding for it.