Tamaki Drive

Tamaki Drive Walk is a city walk, but it’s a beautiful one, and there is always a great view – this walk is one long, continuous, uninterrupted view.  A paved walkway follows the coast of Waitemata Harbor and Tamaki Strait with views of Devonport and Rangitoto, Motutapu, Browns and Motuihe islands.

To see this walk on Google Maps click here.

Ports of Auckland, Mount Victoria, Northhead, Rangitoto and Orakei Marine from Tamaki Drive
Ports of Auckland, Mount Victoria, Northhead, Rangitoto and Orakei Marine from Tamaki Drive

This walk looks great in panoramas.  I haven’t included all of my Tamaki Drive panoramas in this post, but be sure to check them out in the full gallery of 32 pictures below  To view on imgur click here.

I started this walk on my way to Orakei Basin, leaving Tamaki Drive at the point of the panorama above, and the photo below.  Today I would continue along Tamaki Drive.

Paritai Reserve
Paritai Reserve

I had ridden a bicycle along Tamaki Drive from the ferry building to Mission Bay many times when I lived in Auckland about ten years ago, but I had never walked it.  I planned to revisit the Point to Point Walk and try to make it from St Heliers to Point England along the foreshore at low tide, but this day was not the day for that adventure.  I decided to spend this day walking from the Auckland Ferry building to St Helliers, and to continue from there to Point England at a later date.

Just past Orakei Marina is Okahu Bay and it’s beach, the first chance to get off the sidewalk and walk on a beach.  I took it.  I’m not sure I had ever walked on this beach before in spite of cycling past many times.

Okahu Bay beach
Okahu Bay beach
Okahu Bay, behind the beach
Okahu Bay, from behind the beach

The east side of Okahu Bay takes on a different character with a nice walkway leading to Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium.

Okahu Bay
Okahu Bay

Just past Kelly Tarlton’s and the Okahu Functions and Events building is a long pier that offers a nice walk and great views of Orakei Marina and the whole area.

Waitemata Harbor and Devonport
Waitemata Harbor and Devonport

It had probably been a decade since I enjoyed a walk on this pier.

Orakei Marina and central Auckland
Orakei Marina and central Auckland
Pier near Kelly Tarlton's
Pier near Kelly Tarlton’s

You pass this impressive old lighthouse on the ferry to Rangitoto Island.  Below is the view from Tamaki Drive.

Tamaki Strait, lighthouse, Rangitoto Island
Tamaki Strait, lighthouse, Rangitoto Island

And here is a better view from the ferry, shot at a later date.  Kohimarama is visible in the background, St Heliers is to the left of frame.

Lighthouse in Tamaki Strait
Lighthouse in Tamaki Strait

The Tamaki Yacht Club inhabits the next point.

Tamaki Yacht Club, Rangitoto
Tamaki Yacht Club, Rangitoto

Next stop, Mission Bay!  But first a couple of wildlife encounters.  It isn’t remarkable to see either of these birds along the coast, but I wasn’t expecting it.

Shag (cormorant)
Shag (cormorant)
Heron from the pedestrian bridge to Mission Bay Beach
Heron from the pedestrian bridge to Mission Bay Beach

Mission Bay has a great beach, and Tamaki Drive at this point is lined with some good pubs and restaurants, some with nice harbor views.

Pedestrian Bridge to Mission Bay Beach
Pedestrian Bridge to Mission Bay Beach
Mission Bay Beach
Mission Bay Beach

Tamaki Drive moves away from the coast to accommodate a nice green space.  At the center is the Mission Bay Fountain.

Mission Bay Fountain
Mission Bay Fountain

As always on the east coast, Rangitoto!

Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island

A short walk from Mission Bay brings you to Kohimarama Beach.

Kohimarama Beach
Kohimarama Beach

Just around the next point is St Heliers Beach.

St Helliers Beach
St Heliers Beach
St Helliers Beach
St Heliers Beach

At the opposite end of St Heliers Beach you can see Achilles Point, the start of my day on the Point to Point Walkway.  In my next post I’ll take you from Achilles Point to Point England and beyond, this time right on the shore at low tide!

You can view the full gallery of 32 pictures below  To view on imgur click here.

My favorite spot in New Zealand was likely destroyed in the recent earthquakes

The Ohau Point New Zealand Fur Seal Colony on the Pacific Coast just north of Kaikoura was destroyed by a landslide in the recent earthquake, and it seems likely that my favorite spot in all of New Zealand, the Ohau Stream Waterfall, was destroyed as well.

Photo of the landslide at Ohau Point from the article
Photo of the landslide at Ohau Point from the article “Famous seal breeding ground destroyed by quake” on Stuff.co.nz

It is likely some seals were killed in the landslides.

It was fortunate timing, however, as many would have been out at sea feeding ahead of pupping season.

It was unlikely there were pups at the waterfall at the time of the earthquake, Morrissey said.

The waterfall was not yet accessible, so it was unclear if it remained intact, but due to the surrounding damage it was unlikely to have survived.

When the seals returned in the coming weeks they would not recognise their home, Morrissey said.

“Those seals generally come back to the area where they were born. They’ll go in there and it won’t be like anywhere they recognise before, so they’ll probably just go and breed on other parts of the coast.”

The colony will likely return at some stage, albeit in a different form.
“Famous seal breeding ground destroyed by quake”, Stuff.co.nz

Ohau Point Seal Colony
Ohau Point Seal Colony in February 2016

Since many seals probably survived, the seal colony itself will have survived in some form as well, but the Ohau Stream Waterfall is a unique place, and if destroyed, is a huge loss.

Ohau Stream Waterfall in February 2016
Ohau Stream Waterfall in February 2016

The waterfall, pool, and the small glade around them are a special place at any time of year, but between April and October the place becomes a baby seal daycare, as their mothers leave them to frolic in the pool while they go out to fish in the Pacific Ocean.

I read online that someone had seen the carpark at the start of the short walk to the waterfall intact, so there is some hope that the waterfall and stream survived.  I really hope to see this place again!

Curious seal pup at Ohau Stream Waterfall
Curious seal pup at Ohau Stream Waterfall

Search “Ohau” for all of my various posts about this great little spot.

Search “Kaikoura” for all of my posts about the whole area.

If the Ohau Waterfall pool is lost forever, it is reminiscent of the Pink and White Terraces, natural wonders of New Zealand, reportedly the largest silica sinter deposits on earth, lost and thought destroyed in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.  Read this article on the always helpful Wikipedia for more on the Pink and White Terraces and their partial rediscovery.

White Terraces, New Zealand, Charles Blomfield (1848–1926) - from Wikimedia Commons
White Terraces, New Zealand, Charles Blomfield (1848–1926) – from Wikimedia Commons

The coastline around Kaikoura has been altered forever, with the seabed in the area raised a meter or more in places by the quake.

Waipapa bay before and after November 14, 2016 earthquake
Waipapa bay before and after November 14, 2016 earthquake

Aerial photographs (above) show the before and after seabed uplift north of Kaikoura – estimated to be between 2 – 2.5 metres.
Photo Credit: Tonkin+Taylor (@TonkinTaylor) [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxRXBeWVEAA1Oms.jpg]
Photo Credit: Ryan Gold (@runr447)
[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxUNkWmUoAAEv80.jpg]
New Zealand, South Island Earthquake November 14, 2016
East Coast South Island; 91km northeast Christchurch; Kaikoura 

Even without a “before” picture it’s easy to see where the coastline used to be, and the new upraised land.

Seabed uplift caused by November 14, 2016 earthquake
Seabed uplift caused by November 14, 2016 earthquake 

Aerial photographs (above) show the seabed uplift north of Kaikoura – estimated to be between 2 – 2.5 metres.
Photo Credit: Tonkin+Taylor (@TonkinTaylor) [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CxRXB1YVEAA_ipz.jpg]
New Zealand, South Island Earthquake November 14, 2016
East Coast South Island; 91km northeast Christchurch; Kaikoura

Today I was told that locals were recently out moving hundreds of paua, left high and dry by the changes to the coast, in hopes of saving the local population, and eating dozens of local lobsters, while worrying that they might be the last from the area for some time.

For more pictures of Kaikoura’s altered coastline, click here.
Also see this article in the New Zealand Herald.

The video below shows an attempt to drive from Parnassus to Kaikoura.  One of the two tunnels just south of Kaikoura is open, but he doesn’t make it much further.

Google Maps, characteristically up to date, doesn’t currently show SH 1 as an option for this trip.

 

Ambury, the petting zoo Regional Park

Ambury Regional Park is one of the more farm-focused parks in Auckland, and definitely the most kid-focused – part of it is a petting zoo!  It also offers plenty of space for family gatherings and BBQs.  The 45 minute Foreshore Walk is pleasant enough, and offers some nice perspectives on the Manukau Harbor and surrounding areas.  Opportunities for hiking in the park are limited, but the 7km Watercare Coastal Walkway connects Ambury Park with Puketutu Island and Otuataua Stonefields, and connects with the Mangere Lagoon Loop, and offers various diversions through other green spaces in the area.

Manukau Harbor from the Foreshore Walk
Manukau Harbor from the Foreshore Walk

I’ve been busy lately, and my posts have been far too infrequent.  But I have continued to explore, and more is coming.  I’ve been working on providing additional options for navigating the site, starting the Auckland and its Regional Parks.  I’ve enjoyed a post I’ve been working on about Auckland and its status as the most underrated region in New Zealand.  I’ll be bringing that and more to you soon!

Sheep near the start of the Foreshore Walk ignoring the view of One Tree Hill over the Manukau Harbor
Sheep near the start of the Foreshore Walk ignoring the view of One Tree Hill over the Manukau Harbor

Mangere Mountain is an extinct volcano near Ambury Park and a very visible landmark in South Auckland, responsible for the geology of the surrounding area.

Mangere Mountain
Mangere Mountain

Black volcanic rock is a feature of the landscape of Ambury Park.

Foreshore Walk
Foreshore Walk

Another feature is small lava caves.

Lava cave
Lava cave

The bottom portion of the shelter below would appear to be ancient stonework, but I haven’t been able to learn anything about it.  All of the stone walls in Ambury reminded me of the stonework found at nearby Otuataua Stonefields.  I visited Otuataua Stonefields in 2014, but haven’t yet posted about it.

Shelter on Foreshore Walk
Shelter on Foreshore Walk

I didn’t see many insects in the insect garden, but I enjoyed this family of chickens, although they would seem to be unwelcome in an insect garden.

Chicken family
Chicken family

This beautiful cat is another creature that I guess is probably not really welcome in Ambury Park.  Cats are a threat to native wildlife in New Zealand, and some call for their elimination from the country.  I had never seen one before, but this looks to me like a bengal cat.

Bengal cat?
Bengal cat?

It being spring, there are many babies among the animals at Ambury Park at the moment.  The kids below frolicked in a way that put the spring lambs to shame.

Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park

You can view the full gallery of 20 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.