Monday, 19 October 2015

Mathesons Bay North of Auckland

Mathesons  Bay

Living North of Auckland you soon get to know which beaches you like to go to .
Usually for me this means a beach where you can enjoy a swim during all tides and especially in the summer.
Auckland North offers so much especially for day outings and Mathesons Bay is an excellent choice for a day trip out of Auckland.

You can call in and check  the picturesome town of Warkworth on  the way,  enjoy a walk and or movie at Matakana, visit the local vineyards, visit Ti Point wild life park,  explore Goat Island and have a wonderful swim and picnic at Mathesons Bay.

Mathesons Bay is found 1/2 hours drive from Warkworth at Leigh. A popular bay with deep water for swimming  and lots of rock life for snorkling and diving. At low tide the swimming is still good and there is lots of rocks and coastline to explore on foot.

Its a picturesome bay with with two entrances. Although popular in the summer there is lots room for  parking, toilets, and self contained camper vans can stay for up to 2 nights.

The Bay has quite a deep drop off and is semi enclosed by a small Island.

There is also a short bush walk that takes you to a small waterfall. An easy walk with a few sets of stairs.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Warkworth Town Day Trip North Auckland

Jane Gifford
Just 40 min north of Auckland you will come across the popular  boutique River side Town  Warkworth

This is the ultimate day trip from Auckland. For an enjoyable lunch and extremely scenic walk by the river or browse the shops and cafes in town.

The Local Area is packed with things to do. as Warkworth is the gateway to

Check out the following  posts in the Warkworth area

Cement Works (edge if town alongside Mahurangi River

Omaha Beach ( 15mins drive from Warkworth

Goat Island Marine Reserve (1/2 hour drive from Warkworth)

Scotts Landing( 15- 20 mins drive from town)

Tawharanui  Regional Park( 1/2 drive from town.)

There is so much area has to offer with many more beaches to explore, a ferry trip to Kawau Island, vineyards, craft and café shops, walks and more. If you want to see it all I would recommend staying in the area for a couple of days.

Enjoy the Warkworth Mahurangi River

The Warkworth  River is beautiful, especially at full tide, and very scenic.
You will want to enjoy a riverside walk , lunch , feed the ducks or go for a ride on the Jane Gifford.(restored sailing scow moored at the Mahurangi River wharf in Warkworth

Their are paths along the river a wharf and it follows along the length of town then further each side up into Lucy Moore Park or at the other end of town you can follow the river through a bush track.
Warkworth is a popular town for visitors.

Will get some better town photos to add shortly

As you come into town from the North side you will find this board with maps and info on the area. There is also a visitors centre.

Little steam boats are a feature of the River .

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Day Trip North Of Auckland Old Cement Works.

Looking For A Day Trip North Of Auckland

Less than an hour drive north of Auckland is one of my favourite all time places. Perhaps one of the best kept secrets. A great place for a day trip, picnic and swim over the summer months.
Visit the Old Cement Works in the town of Warkworth  Tucked in along side the River you can enjoy the old ruins , a walk and for the brave a swim.

I remember the first time I went to the Cement Works  or Kilns we used to call them. I was just a kid. It used to be a place that as a family we often went to . Mum and Dad would sit on the bank as us kids played in the water staying close to the ledges. There were always lots of stories about the place and I have know idea if any were even true or slightly true. One was the  Quarry suddenly flooded and the machines and equipment were still down there. Deep at the bottom.

This is a historical site. Well worth a visit and the walking track will soon be extended so you can walk the river side into Warkworth township. You will certainly want your camera with you.

I decided to take my camera for a walk today. You can see it is quiet because it is mid winter here . In the summer the Cement Works are much busier. Lots of young swimmers enjoying their free time.

The swimming quarry at the Cement works is popular with many over summer. Fresh water and very deep. There are a couple of limestone ledges but you can't touch the bottom so you need to be a good swimmer.

You may like these other posts of places to see while in the same district as the Cement Works

Enjoy lunch and a River Walk in the Warkworth Township Click Here

Visit local beaches  Scotts Landing is about 20min out east coast from Warkworth Click Here

Read more on the Warkworth area Click Here

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Omaha Beach North Of Auckland

Omaha Beach an enjoyable day trip from Auckland

I remember the first time
 I went to Omaha Beach I was only 5. Dad stopped the car in a rough metal parking area ( which is now the main car park) We walked over an over grown grass area to view the beach.

How things change don't they?

Getting There

The location of Omaha Beach is East Coast north of Auckland. About a 45 minute drive on a good day. Perfect for that day trip as there is so much to see along the way and then you can enjoy a picnic lunch and maybe go for a surf. or even go for a long beach walk.
 Summertime is also a good idea so you can get the most out of the day and enjoy the beach.

On the Way out to Omaha Beach you pass vineyards and a small settlement called Matakana.

Matakana is a very popular place especially in the weekends with markets, a choice of great restaurants and cafes and a boutique cinema of which is a great place to catch a movie.

Omaha Beach itself has transformed from the quite paddocks it once was and is now street after street of up market houses and holiday homes for the wealthy so if you get tired of walking the sand check out the houses.
 There is also a Golf Course, Surf club  and a couple of cafes.

The beach itself is often ok to surf at and a reasonable safe beach also. In the summer the kids can swim between the flags.

You sometimes see fishermen on the rocks. There is a man made wall of boulders on the left side of the beach that seems to be a popular place to fish. I also noticed on my recent walk that there is a predator fence up also to protect the Godwits and other birds .

The beach itself is long , sandy with nice waves and a great place to visit.
It you do go in summer though keep in mind there are no trees so no shade.

Omaha is well worth the visit.

You may like these posts on Other Beaches Close to Omaha

Goat Island Marine Reserve In the same direction as Omaha a little further around the coast.
Check post out on Goat Island Click Here

Tawharanui Regional Park also close to Omaha. The park in a good choice for a day trip.
Click Here

Read more on the area
Click Here

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Goat Island Marine Reserve North Auckland

Here is another great idea for a Summer Day Trip and Picnic

especially if you love the sea, swimming, snorkelling and walking.
Explore New Zealand's under water world for a great day out.

The Marine Reserve is very busy over the Summer months so you need to get there early to claim your spot.

There is lots of information on the Marine Reserve as you follow the pathway down to the beach so you can learn a little about the marine life that you may see over the day. Great for kids too.

Located  North of Auckland approx. 1hr 15 mins drive I would say from central Auckland.
You turn off the main highway at Warkwoth and head North /East out past Matakana and continue to Leigh.
 Goat Island Marine Park is only 5 mins further up the road from Leigh

Parking has improved as I say this is very busy place over the summer  and there are also lots school trips and buses etc that turn up quite often. Get there early get a good park and picnic spot and settle in for a great day. Take your dive and  snorkel gear and even a kayak if you have one.

There is  snorkel gear etc  and kayaks available for hire if you don't have your own.

Enjoy a ride on the Glass Bottom Boat so you can see the fish and marine life with out getting wet.
Check out more information Here

Take a look at some more photos.


Top Your Visit To Goat Island Off With a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre.
Marine Discovery Centre

Top off your visit to Goat Island  nicely with a visit to the Marine Discovery Centre.  Open hours vary over the year you can find out more Here

Friday, 15 May 2015

5 Best Picnic Day Trips Auckland North

Great Picnic Spots Auckland 

Five of The Best Day Trips

                                   Auckland Domain.

Visit the Auckland Domain Picnic in the park under the trees, enjoy a walk around the winter gardens , play a game of friendly cricket and visit the Auckland Museum for a great day out.
Auckland Zoo
It has to be said that the Auckland Zoo is a great day out and perfect for an all day trip and picnic with so much to see you want to be able to take your time and it does take the best part of the day to really see every thing at the Zoo. Whether with family , friends or on your own put this trip to the top of the list when planning what to do for a great and enjoyable day.
Tiri Tiri Matangi Island
Head out into the Hauraki Gulf and grab the Ferry for an all day trip and picnic as you explore Tiri Tiri Matnagi Island and picnic at the light house after an enjoyable bush walk as you spot native birds and mingle with nature for a great day out.

Wenderholm Regional Park
 I had to pick this one especially as the perfect picnic spot as that is exactly what it is. Just half and hour give or take north of Auckland this is a great place to spend the day and offers  a little history, swimming , hiking , kayaking and with lots of huge Pohutukawa trees to shade under.


                                     West Coast Auckland

Head out west and visit the Waitakere Ranges For a  day of bush walking , swimming and enjoying the magic views. Check out the surf of Piha and spend the day exploring scenic New Zealand.


Monday, 11 May 2015

NZ Plants for Photography

 Out with the camera again
this time taken photos of plants. From native plants to flowers in the domestic garden taking a look at  some plants often seen around  North NZ

The Pohutukawa Tree Sprawls out over many NZ beaches , Parks and in many gardens. Great for picnicking under, climbing for the kids and is our Natural outdoor Christmas tree as it flowers during our Christmas / summer holidays.
Pohutukawa Flower

Arum Lilly

Our dependant flax plant seen everywhere , Bush ,Beach , Side of the Road and Gardens. The Maori people used it in many different  ways clothing, nets and baskets,  dried and weaved flax is very useful. The flax flower is favoured by native birds..
Flax Plant

Flax Flower
The flax is everywhere you look

Tui Bird feeding on flax flower.

Tree Fern seen  Through out NZ Bush
Tree Fern Frond

Blue Iris Flower Domestic Gardens

Banksia  Rose Climber

Red Hot Pockers

Tea Tree  Flower NZ Native Bush Plant

Tea Tree Seen through out NZ Bush

Bird of Paradise Flower

Cabbage Tree seen in the Home Garden and NZ Bush

Kauri Tree dotted here and there NZ Bush. Sadly this huge tree is struggling to survive  Hit recently by an unusual disease there is great concern for the Kauri Tree in NZ.

Nikau  Palm and Tree Fern

I hope to add more photos of plants that I see along the way to this post. Subscribe to this blog and you will get the latest as updates are made.

Young Nikau Palm  NZ Bush