It was one of those days. The weather couldn’t work out what it was doing, the market was boring and there wasn’t anything I wanted to buy. We ended up eating donuts for breakfast and feeling sorry for ourselves.
The dog was supposed to come on our next road trip, but he got left at home. The man of the house was supposed to be putting a race car back together but decided he needed some time out. I was sick of being stuck in the house (having got back Tuesday afternoon). Oh no! Four days without putting kms on the car!
First world problems abounding, we decided to go exploring. The joys of moving to a new place! Rather than head into the city, we decided to try and find a beach and or some wilderness.
It was surprisingly easy. Head south from Auckland on State Highway One and turn left between Papakura and Pokeno and you’ll end up in the right area. Farmland abounds. A quick decision was made to pay a visit to Hunua Falls.
About an hour drive from Auckland, the Hunua Falls are one of the more accessible attractions in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park. Although the water here contains a lot of sediment and has quite a dirty colour the falls are stunning. There is a good viewing area about 20 minutes return walk from the car park and a three hour trek through native bush. This is a pretty place to stop for lunch and picnic tables and clean facilities are available on site.
We cruised through to Clevedon, a cute little rural community, then onto the Clevedon Kawakawa Road. It’s here that we first saw the coast. It’s not been that long since I’ve been at the beach (2 months, maximum) but seeing the farmland turn swampy, to clean bays and then the Hauraki Gulf opening up like that in front of us, was just lovely. Looking out over the Coromandel Peninsula, it’s easy to forget how beautiful New Zealand is.
Although this spring isn’t lovely and warm and welcoming summer like it should be, there were still a lot of campervans, caravans and 5th wheelers parked up at the freedom camping spots along the coast as we headed down towards Miranda. With the wind whipping up and the sun making a solid effort to burst through the dark clouds the beach looked appealing and a few families were out and about, fishing from the shore and having picnics.
With time running out we headed back inland before we reached Miranda and the hot pools. Winding through the countryside before quickly reaching State Highway 2. Being on the road and exploring again was brilliant and it’s amazing what you can discover just a short drive from Auckland.