Thursday 26 October 2023

Te Ara Hura , Day 4 - Roosters, ducks and dotterels

 With thanks to Walk Waiheke for this famil

Setting off today under an encouragingly clearing sky, we enjoyed the sun slanting down through the leaves above us as we walked through Whakanewha Regional Park, following the Mamaku and Nikau Tracks. It was beautiful, with waterfalls, green ferny leaves and shafts of sunlight, and Sarah's suggestion to have ten minutes of reflective silence as we walked went down well with everyone.

At the bottom we followed Dotties Lane along the coast, taking care on the beaches to keep well clear of dotterel nesting sites. We headed up and over the hill to follow the road down to eclectic Rocky Bay, where the store has seen better days but the Omiha Memorial Hall opposite is apparently the place to go for arty events and the occasional cream tea.

It was a long walk from there up and over the hills and along the road past the Te Whau winery and the sports park roostery for our lunch stop at Ostend. En route though, we had classic Waiheke brilliant blue sea framed by pohutukawa - just gorgeous. While we ate we had a couple of families with ducklings keeping us company as we sprawled over the playground near where all the houseboats are moored - or, today, stranded on low-tide sand.

We carried on then, along tracks I'd never seen beside a road I travel often, and passed into very familiar territory at Surfdale and finally Blackpool beach. There we finished the day with another little treat - the walk organiser met us, opening her car boot to reveal a basket of local wines and beers. We were just below the town of Oneroa where the Island Gelato shop drew many walkers up for more rewards after another day of solid effort.

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