And on to Awhitu

First a little bit of a retrospective view of a couple of photos that were omitted from previous posts.   

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The Matata Nessie in estuary      Parked in the Karangahake Gorge

We left Ambury late on Wednesday morning and first headed to find a dump station in Manukau. We found this at the Mobil Station on Wiri Station road and were pleased to find it easily accessible.  A very pleasant and scenic drive from there through Waiuku to Awhitu, another Auckland Regional Park, on the Southern tip of the Manukau Harbour.  The choice of parking areas was another pleasant surprise and we were soon set up in prime location. 

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All set up with the laundry out!    View from the van door.

We spent the next couple of days relaxing and exploring the area.  There are two lovely beaches just a short walk from the van.  We chose to park in the Brook Homestead park rather than the Peninsular park as there were others parked in the Peninsular one and the parking was much flatter in the Brook parking.  The added bonus was we were the only ones there, plus the trees offered great shade. 

One walk was to the old Brook Homestead, built for the Brook family in 1878.  This farm park remained in the Brook family until they sold the land to the ARC in 1971.  The old jetty which provided a lifeline for the family in the early days due to lack of roads is currently under repair. 

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Brook Homestead                           Jetty at sunrise

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Large tree in the grounds, apparently one of the largest Macrocarpas in the world at nearly 6metres wide.

The Beaches are long, white, and very shallow making it a wonderful safe spot for families to go swimming. Apparently the fishing and oysters are very plentiful as well.

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Long beach                                    Carved into the cliff

Just off the beach there is an island which is accessible at low tide

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Bernice wading out at high tide    a few hours later, plug pulled!

Awhitu is a bird haven with its wetlands, salt marshes, beach and intertidal areas.  We saw a large variety of birds and heard many more including moreporks (owls) in the evenings.

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And now some shots of Pohutukawa trees along the cliffs at the ends of the beaches.  They are a very tenacious as can be seen. They cling precariously on the very edge and then even when they slide down they are still able to keep some of their root system intact to provide sustenance.

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On Friday Antony and Neil came for a visit, of course that included staying for dinner, a marinated butterflied bbq’d  leg of lamb followed by a few games of Sequence.  I think we should be getting royalties for the number of people we have introduced to this game!

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You may recall that we mentioned in a previous post that we were having an in-house competition for the best scones.  Below is Roy’s first effort, and very nice they were too.

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Oh, and you may recall we also mentioned earlier an issue with the bike rack?  Well, we had decided in all our wisdom to remove the bike rack from the back of the RAV4 (the bike rack attached to the spare wheel), and put it on the spare wheel on the back of the van.  In theory a great idea, but in practise – NOT!!  It seems that the wheel mount was not strong enough to hold the spare wheel plus the bike rack and the two bikes.  When we reached Awhitu we noticed that things were not right, we quickly took everything off the back to inspect the damage. OOoooppps.  Guess what?  The bike rack is now back on the RAV.

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