07 December 2013

Going For A Walk: Te Henga Walkway, Bethells Beach {Or What's That Plant Called?}

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.

Some folks have carved their names into the cliff, as well as some pictures like this cute smiley face. Not that you should ever deface nature, but if you're into the whole vandalism thing, then make it something cute like this. There are also some naughty pictures but my mom reads this so I'm not sharing those ones.
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.
This is the "kitty cat" plant. When you touch it, it feels soft like a kitty cat. There was some discussion about how we could save minks from being turned into coats if we made coats out of this plant instead because it is so soft. But then we realized that it falls apart if you touch it too much so we've told our R&D department to try to solve the whole falling apart problem so that we can make coats. They have a month to make it work or someone is going to get fired.

On a sunny day, it is good to stop and take a break in the shade.

We didn't know what to call these. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

We even renamed this one. It is now known as "yellow sunshine goddess".
Danger, danger...fortunately it was a very dry day.
This is what they meant. Erosion and landslides all over the place.
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.


  1. Love your names! This post reminds me of a kayak trip hubby and I did through a swamp area in Florida, where we saw skinny legged birds and long necked birds - and we still call the same birds by these names. BTW - we will be up in Auckland tomorrow morning (sun) for brunch - join us??

    1. Your bird names probably make far more sense than their "official" names. And far easier to remember! I've just sent you an email re: brunch. Cheers - Ellen

  2. Beautiful photos! I so hope we get to sail there. The trees? How about God Fingers? Also, I believe that little grass is marketed her in the US under the name 'Bunnytails' or something on that order. I actually grew it, if it's the same one. Lots of native New Zealand plants grow here.

    1. "God Fingers" it is! I'll update my field guide accordingly. Bunnytails is a great name as well - I wish we had thought of that one!


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