Travel Tuesday BLOG Post
NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.
In the current absence of travel options, this is a rework of our 2014 trip Down Under, previously posted on a private blog site.
+14 and showers to start, +20 and sunny most of day and +14 and showers to end
After the past evening’s hurried (although circuitous) return to the room, we decided to drive downtown for coffee and breakfast. We did so during Whangarei rush hour, not a biggie and went to Caffeine Espresso (is there any other kind?). Today, as we had our wheels, we had the Latte bowl, Allan had the muesli, yogurt and berries and Patty had the porridge and berries. All was delicious and a nice change after all the fried and bread breakfasts we have had so far.
Breakfast over, we drove back to the motel to pack up and head off to Mangawhei (Mawnga-fy) Heads for their famous beach to cliff walk. We drove through pastoral splendour and the small town of Waipu along Nova Scotia Drive and we thought of our dear friends and neighbours, C and R back home in the cold Alberta winter. We stopped at Cape Breton Park and saw a sign announcing the Caledonian Games on January 1. C and R would love it here, all kinds of Scottish and Irish reminders and even a Failte sign as you entered town.
Moving onward, down increasingly hilly and winding roads, we soon arrived at the Mangawhei Heads Surf Lifesaving Club where the track begins. OMG, we were surrounded by beauty and then we were surrounded by rain showers. Grabbing our packs and trekking poles, we headed out along the beach for the 45 minute walk to the cliff top track.
The white sand near the ocean and the black sand at the edge of the beach looked like a giant black and white cookie as we tramped across rocks of all shapes and sizes and textures.
We soon arrived at the stairs and headed up to the cliff top (237 steps and gentle slopes edging ever upwards)….
…with startlingly stunning views, vegetation and wildlife at every angle. Tui birds sang, Pukekos stepped gingerly through the tall glasses and sheep and cattle abounded on the adjacent private property. All along the walk, swallows swooped up and over us as if welcoming us to their world or perhaps they were trying to tell us to go away.
Turning one corner, it reminded us of the Cabot Trail with palm trees (hence the caption and the lead photo). C and R would love this. At the end, we walked down 384 steps (how did that happen?) to another beach. We found ourselves in the middle of a rocky wonderland, with a natural arch, which we walked through (and got wet feet doing it) and cormorants sunning themselves on the rocks. We pulled up a giant driftwood seat and ate our Chicken chips and choco bars. Time stood still (for a very long time). OMG, C and R would love this.
As the tide was coming in, a return trek on the beach would have required a bit of swimming, so we retraced our clifftop steps. We dawdled at every turn, every vista, every sight and sound. We did not want to leave this place. At long last, we were back to the first beach and wandered back along the surf line, frequently getting surprised by the waves and then by a rain shower.
What a fine place, what a great day?
Driving away, we actually crossed a causeway across the shallow bay (how Nova Scotian) and thought C and R would love this. We drove off to the town of Warkworth and our country lodge with historical rooms and comfortable beds.
After dropping our luggage and freshening up, we walked downtown for a wander and then ate supper at a restaurant perched on the edge of the Mahurangi River. I had the fish and chips and the fish of the day was Deep Sea Dory – yummy.
Back to the room, for wine and fine choco, looking out the window at a beautiful full rainbow. What a magical day.