Photos on my iPhone just can't do this beautiful coastline justice. Only 3 hours drive north of Auckland and 30 minutes beyond Whangarei the Tutukaka Coast is warm, accessible and spectacular.
Today we walked the Whananaki Coastal Walkway. A fascinatingly diverse track with spectacular vistas along the way.
The track itself crosses private farm lands, through forests and follows coastline both on rocks and beaches.
The vegetation is diverse with mostly coastal natives. Part of the track goes through what we called the valley of the bees, a grove of Manuka that hummed it was so thick with honey bees.
The climb is steep so when we got to the Captain Bougainville Monument overlooking Whananaki beach after 2 hour of walking we were very ready for lunch and taking the time to Skype with Don who just got home from the pub in cold London Town - sad he wasn't with us but a cool family catchup location.
From here we immediately realised why all of the other hikers had poles! Straight down over roots to the rocky cliffs below. Our rock clambering in tramping boots was fun. It was easy at first and progressively got harder. Great fun until we went too close to a sea gulls nest, Imogen who was leading the way suddenly found herself with a sea gull dive bombing her.
We emerged on a beautiful deserted sandy Whananaki beach.
The bird song is awesome and constant - other than the valley of the bees. We saw maybe 20 people in that 5 hours so very secluded.
There are loads of other walks on this coastline so will take many more trips this way. Love it!