Posted by: scribe9 | April 18, 2010

Hiking the headlands

Two weeks ago, we hiked on Whangarei Heads, the volcanic remnants at the mouth of the harbor. This weekend we went further south to Whanganui Heads.

This time, instead of clambering through damp vines and bush and sliding on wet roots, the trail was wide, graded and mostly graveled, and–in steep places–a stairway

rather than a scramble that turns into a creek bed in the rain. A big difference is that this trail was improved greatly in the last few years, as part of a national trail system running the length of New Zealand. The system is named Te Araroa–Maori for “the long trail.”

Somehow the water doesn’t look like this off the Oregon coast:

We descended on stairways, and walked back along the beach only because it was low tide. We saw some interesting rocks,

the iconic pohutukawa tree leaning out over the beach,

and an arch that didn’t collapse as we walked under it.

The Pacific coast here has heaps of picturesque coves like this:

We had the place almost to ourselves (even though that area is within the Auckland magnetic field, as we could tell from the big fancy houses with great views), and even Highway 1 and our supermarket were practically empty. It was the last weekend of the two-week autumn school break, and we have no idea where everyone went–obviously away from our neck o’ the woods.



  1. when did they start school?

    • The first term started in mid-February.

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