More JFK

In which Miles just keeps going back to John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

To view the full gallery of 21 photos in imgur, click here.

I keep going back to JFK, any time I need to get outside and don’t have a lot of time or a better plan.

My main inspiration for posting again about JFK is this shy seal pup.

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The water level was high, more due to a swell, I was told, than with the tide.  There were lots of birds enjoying the rough water and windy weather. The waves were loud, so it took a while to hear him barking at me.  I realized that I had walked between him and the harbor.  There was nothing between us, and he wasn’t far off, and I may have been lucky that he wasn’t an older and larger seal.  I moved to get out of his way, and he hid behind a large rock.  As I took these photos, I decided that I might still not be giving him enough room.  I got well out of his way, and he headed for the water, stopping to look back before disappearing behind a rock shelf.

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The first view from the stairs is always good.  Some days the water looks especially clear.

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In many areas the cliffs are always changing.  While sitting on drift wood for a break, I usually hear small rocks falling, possibly sent on their way by the doves and other birds who gather on the cliffs in increasing numbers as evening approaches.

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There is ample evidence of very large rocks and even trees fallen from the cliffs.  This is something to always be aware of while exploring JFK Park.

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I’m still fascinated by the various rock shelves along the coast…

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…and the ever changing views of Rangitoto, which itself seems to look the same from wherever I see it along the east coast of Auckland.

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You can read my previous posts on JFK Park here and here.

To view the full gallery of 21 photos in imgur, click here.

 

Centennial Park

In which Miles explores another small urban park.

To view the full gallery of 5 photos on imgur, click here.

A nice man with a nice dog who I met on JF Kennedy Park’s Beach told me about Centennial Park.   It is very close to JFK.  He said that it is a small park, but connects with the neighboring gold course.  He said that gold course is open to to the public, and not often crowded during the week, and that he goes for long walks there.  That made the idea of exploring Centennial Park more interesting.

A narrow road runs through Centennial Park.  I parked in an empty car park.  I was welcomed by the sign below.

Welcome sign
Welcome sign

I walked a short distance, and passed several branching trails, all sign posted.  The sheer number of trails threatened to lose me, so I retraced my steps to the car park to orient myself, and noticed a kiosk offering maps.  I hadn’t seen that before in any small regional park.  The trails at Centennial Park are marked as well as any park I’ve seen in New Zealand.  See the trail markers in the photo below.

Centennial Park's track markers
Centennial Park’s track markers

There was a generous number of conveniently places benches with a consistent theme – each has a silhouette of an animal cut into the bench.

Animal themed bench
Animal themed bench

The pill box is marked on the map, but was a bit tricky to find.  The golf course is directly on the other side of it.  I wondered how many golfers even know it’s there.

Pill box
Pill box

The golf course did look busy, so I just explored the park.

In the more remote parts of the park some of the sign posts didn’t look so new, and there were enough unmarked trails to offer the potential to get lost.  I avoided it this visit however.

Lower in the valley is quite wet, and there are extensive walkways.

Centennial Park looks like it has a lot of money invested in it.  It is small, but I left enough of it unexplored to justify at least one more visit.  And of course there si the option of walking the golf course as well.

Bush walkway
Bush walkway

To view the full gallery of 5 photos on imgur, click here.

 

Wenderholm Again

In which Miles misses Waiwere Hill Scenic Reserve, and goes to Wenderholm.

To view the full gallery of 9 images on imgur, click here.

Some parks and scenic reserves are easy to find.  Google Maps (or Waze, which I’ve been using more often lately) will take you right there in most cases.  Other parks, the navigation app gets me next to it, but on a residential street, with no clear way through private property or into the park.  Waiwere Hill Scenic Reserve is one of these more challenging parks.  There is little helpful info online.  Google Maps shows it, but just takes you to that part of the Hibiscus Coast Highway and tells you that you’ve arrived, with nowhere to turn off.  More research is required.

Right after you miss Waiwere Hill Scenic Reserve you hit Wenderholm, so I went there instead.  I was welcomed by the familiar tree-lined lane pictured below.

Tree-lined lane entering Wenderholm, from Couldrey House Track
Tree-lined lane entering Wenderholm, from Couldrey House Track

I wanted to do something different, so I walked the Couldrey House Track to the top of the hill.  A lookout point on the way up offered a view over the Hauraki Gulf, beach, peninsula and the Puhoi River similar to the one on the Perimeter Track which I walked on my previous visit.

Puhoi River and Hauraki Gulf from Couldrey House Track
Puhoi River and Hauraki Gulf from Couldrey House Track
Puhoi River
Puhoi River

See the Auckland Council page for Wenderholm, and the map of the park.

Couldrey House Track is not a loop.  At the top of the hill I took the Puhoi Track.  The Puhio Track runs along a ridge toward the south end of the park.  It is mowed grass reminiscent of tracks through pasture that I’ve walked, but without a worn path most of the way – I chose my own path across the wide swath of grass.  At first, the view is over the Puhio River.

Top of the Puhoi Track
Top of the Puhoi Track

Walk a little further, and you’re looking over the Hauraki Gulf and the Waiwera River.

View of the gulf from the Puhoi Track
View of the gulf from the Puhoi Track

Puhio Track ends at Perimeter Track.  I chose to walk back the long way along the Perimeter Track.  I could have cut that short by taking the Couldrey House Track, including the part I skipped, but stayed on Perimeter Track for the longer walk.

Perimeter Track
Perimeter Track
Perimeter Track
Perimeter Track

I found Kokoru Bay beautiful again in the light of the approaching evening.

Kokoru Bay
Kokoru Bay
Kokoru Bay
Kokoru Bay

For many more pictures of Wenderholm, see my previous post on this beautiful place.

To view this post’s gallery of 9 images on imgur, click here.