Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mangawhai Cliffs, 1

The next day was a driving day, up the left side of the Firth of Thames, past The City, Auckland, some provisioning on its north side, and then further north to a holiday park just short of Mangawhai, still on the Pacific side. And the next day, March 20th, we did the Mangawhai Cliffs walk. We'd done a bit of the beach part in 2014, but wanted to do it all this time. It's an 8km hike, half on the low-tide beach, then the return half on the "cliffs" above. The beach part, after a kilometer or two, changed into rocky volcanic out-crops, very jagged, then coves, then fascinating basaltic (?) columns like the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, then coves, and then a giant pebble beach, and coves. Not easy footing, much of it. Then, finally, the arch that marks the end of the beach bit, and the 200+ steps up the hill ("cliff") for the high walk back. And the 200+ steps back down to the sand beach. It was the longest walk we'd done in a while, and by the end of the day we were fairly fatigued.
At the River Holiday Park

Looking north, beach and cliffs

And back to the starting point

Islands, sea stack

Shell shard city

This large bird--a spotted swivel-head--and I nearly collided,
scaring the bejeebies out of both of us

Jagged volcanic stuff, A'a, not pahoehoe

Flotsam, jetsam

Pohutukawas cascading down from the hill (cliff)

Tidal pools

Organisms in tidal pool (micro shrimp?)

More lava

And then, Vicki cries out "Giant's Causeway!"

Not exactly, but close; I wish I'd studied harder in Geology 101

Going on

And then eroding in the waves

And then comes the football and basketball size pebbles

Lots of them

Plenty to look at when you're not minding your footing

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