After our last attempt to go for a proper hike in the Waitakares, my friend and I decided not to ask the park ranger for advice this time and instead we picked a trail ourselves. Smart move on our part - much better walk and we didn't get our feet wet. The whole wet feet thing might not be important to you, but it is to us. We headed out to Bethells Beach and took the Te Henga walkway past O'Neill Bay and then up to Raetahinga Point on the headland. Great picnic, sunny day, lovely weather (around 24°C!) and sea views. Overall roundtrip around 8kms. What more could you want. And we even had time to name the various plants we saw along the way. We're both pretty useless when it comes to knowing the "official" names of various plants, so we decided to give them new ones. You might want to get your New Zealand field guide out so you can cross out the old names and write in the new ones. We've got some pictures below so you can easily identify them.
|You cross over the Waitakare River on your way to O'Neill Bay. Fortunately, they have a bridge so no one needs to get their feet wet.|
|The Te Henga walkway is part of the Hillary Trail (as in Sir Edmund), which is a four day 77km tramp. We didn't have four days, so we just did part of it.|
|This plant is now known as "vanilla fingers". If someone calls if flax, they would be wrong. You should correct them.|
|From this point forward, this plant will be known as "snow angel". We think it looks very pretty, just like a snow angel.|
View from where we had our picnic lunch out to the "ditch" aka the Tasman Sea. And of course we reapplied our sunscreen. Because it is smart to be sunsmart.