Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fairy Falls Track - Waitakere Ranges

Some friday nights you have some beers and don't want to get up too early the next day. So at 2 we set of for the WHY.TACKS. The hills were covered in mist, my ears popped as we climbed higher through the swill. At last we reached the Fairy Falls track. Step one, disinfect shoes. There is a nasty Kauri virus going round.

Step two, begin descent. Its a decent climb down to the falls, many many steps. The views and bush are worth every step, even in the mist you can appreciate the grandeur of the hills.My legs were a little wobbly when we reached the bottom. We paused to admire the falls and were rewarded when a curious finch decided Zed might drop some crumbs and proceeded to hop about his feet. Little blighter was far to quick to catch on camera. It then hopped up through some of the weaker streams on the falls, drinking and hopping about. Very cute.

After some nuts and a drink we began the arduous climb. This track is only a grade 2 (track is graveled the whole way, beautifully maintained steps and river crossing) but it felt harder, but the steep climb is only for the first half of the return, then it morphs into easy gradients with fewer steps. Before we knew it we were back at the car park. Great walk to stop and do on your way out to Piha. Zed had to get home for gaming though so we didn't linger. Next weekend I'm on call so have to stay close to home for that but the weekend after I'll be heading back to the Waitakere dam.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kayaking the Puhoi river.

An early tide meant a somewhat early start, but the calm reflective early morning waters were just reward for getting up with the birds.We spotted plenty of birds on the trip, Pukekos, Herons, Shags, Kingfishers, Tuis and ducks galore. When we got closer to the sea the slight onshore breeze generated a bit of chop, but overall its an easy trip. The river is tidal so the kayak hire place only ever book you going with the tide.
The river paddle starts just before the Puhoi township and ends in the estuary at Wenderholm park. Puhoi River Canoe hire provide the kayaks and will even pick you up after your 2 hour paddle down river and return you to your car.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Zed and I enjoyed lunch and walk around the waterfront yesterday. We walked from Mission bay back towards the city. It was a glorious day, sunshine, heat and an ocean breeze to keep us from overheating. And to top it all off, parked outside Kelly tarltons was the Sharkbus! I'd never seen it before so I took a photo.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Okura walking track

Just north of Torbay is the Okura Scenic reserve, a chunk of native bush along an estuary. The fool hardy can also undertake a 10km hike through said reserve and along a beach to visit a tiny historic brick cottage.

The Okura track is promoted as easy, and its not too bad apart from a couple of steep climbs which my calf muscles are still recovering from, but the track is in good condition and there are steps where necessary (yay thanks DOC!). A more accurate description of the Okura track can be found on the fatmandu blog.
I wouldn't want to do this track after any amount of rain though, looks like it would turn to mud in a flash.
The cottage has trees and shade a plenty to provide good picnicing spots, we took a lunch of apricots nectarines,boiled eggs,nuts and christmas cake. I felt very famous five.