Tag Archives: Bayswater

Ngataringa Bay Coastal Walk, Devonport to Bayswater

I knew that my expedition to walk the coast from Devonport to Bayswater would be my last walk in Auckland for a long while.  The weather was forecast to clear, and before I left I had a look from the deck over the Waitemata Harbor.  Heavy fog over the harbor produced the brightest rainbow I’ve seen in New Zealand, and possibly the first full double rainbow.  It was a bright start to a somewhat melancholy occasion.

Rainbow over western Waitemata Harbor
Rainbow over western Waitemata Harbor

The coastal walks are some of my favorite walks in Auckland.  I intended at various points to further explore the coasts of Ngataringa and Shoal Bays, but close looks at Google maps, and previous experience, indicated that it was all mud and mangroves and little access to the coast.

A closer look revealed that there are some paths along the coast of Ngataringa Bay that I hadn’t noticed before, so I went to have a look.  I borrowed the map of the Devonport to Takapuna Green Route and added my own path in red (see below).

Ngataringa Bay Coastal Walk, Devonport to Bayswater
Ngataringa Bay Coastal Walk, Devonport to Bayswater

I parked at the end of Victoria Road.  The entrance to Dacre Park was plain to see.  The day had cleared up beautifully.

Entrance to Dacre Park
Entrance to Dacre Park

There’s a good track along the edge of the park.

Path along the edge of Dacre Park
Path along the edge of Dacre Park

Soon enough a nice view opened up over dense mangroves at the edges of Ngataringa Bay.

Ngataringa Bay and Harbor Bridge
Ngataringa Bay and Harbor Bridge
Ngatarings Bay - Devonport to Bayswater
Ngatarings Bay

Ngataringa Park has a large open grassy space.

Mount Victoria and Ngataringa Park
Mount Victoria and Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park skate park
Ngataringa Park skate park

Near Lake Road there’s a wooded area with spiraling paths and a definite druid vibe.

Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park
Ngataringa Park

Leaving Ngataringa Park you have to walk a short distance along Lake Road.

Ngataringa Bay from Lake Road
Ngataringa Bay from Lake Road

The mangroves and mud come right up to Lake Road for this stretch.  Right on the other side is a path into the bush along the bay.  A short distance in is Mary Barrett Glade.

Mary Barrett Glade

Mary Barrett Glade

This path follows the coast along the edge of Polly’s Park.  You don’t actually see the park from the bush.

Mount Victoria and Ngataringa Bay
Mount Victoria and Ngataringa Bay
Devonport-Bayswater
Devonport-Bayswater

I had a good look at the possibility of continuing along the coast, and saw no possibility.  The path leaves the coast and emerges from the bush along the west end of Polly’s Park.  Looking southeast you can see over Polly’s Park, Ngataringa Park, Mount Victoria, and in the distance North  Head.

Polly's Park, Ngataringa Park, Mount Victoria, North Head
Polly’s Park, Ngataringa Park, Mount Victoria, North Head

I was able to ask someone passing by about the possibility of following the coast around Duder Point.  She offered no hope, so I continued along Wesley Road.

Kawarau Road and Hill Park
Kawarau Road and Hill Park

I went and had a look at Hill Park, and found a path back along the coast toward Duder point.  I stopped when it seemed too obvious that I would be walking into someone’s back yard.

Path from Hill Park toward Duder Point
Path from Hill Park toward Duder Point

I retreated to Merwood Lane and took the bridge to Plymouth Reserve.

Bridge to Plymouth Reserve
Bridge to Plymouth Reserve

There’s a nice view from the bridge.

View from bridge to Plymounth Reserve
View from bridge to Plymounth Reserve

Plymounth Reserve is a strip of grass separated from the Plymouth Crescent houses by a narrow band of trees.

Plymouth Reserve
Plymouth Reserve
Plymouth Reserve
Plymouth Reserve

Here again I found no way to continue along the coast.  The path ends at Plymouth Crescent, which leads to Bayswater Park.  On the other side of the park is O’Neill’s Point Cemetery.

O'Neill’s Point Cemetery
O’Neill’s Point Cemetery

I love a good coastal walk.  This walk from Devonport to Bayswater is a good continuation of the North Shore Coastal Walk (click for parts 1, 2 and 3 of that great walk).

Please enjoy the full gallery of 24 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Exploring the Bayswater Coast

I set out from Marine Parade Reserve to explore the Bayswater coast.  I hoped to make it to the First World War Heritage Trail bridge without leaving the foreshore.

Marine Parade Reserve - Bayswater Coast
Marine Parade Reserve

The rock shelf is wet in this area, at low tide, but not muddy.  That changed as I proceeded northeast.

Bayswater Coast
Bayswater foreshore

I stopped often to look back over Shoal Bay and Waitemata Harbor toward the Harbor Bridge and Sky Tower.

Shoal Bay, Bayswater, Sky Tower, Harbor Bridge - Bayswater Coast
Shoal Bay, Bayswater, Sky Tower, Harbor Bridge

The skyline of Takapuna is visible over Shoal Bay in the opposite direction.

 Skyline of Takapuna over Shoal Bay - Bayswater Coast
Skyline of Takapuna over Shoal Bay

I’ve seen a lot of kite boarders out on the sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve, but the group in the picture below was up to something different.

Skyline of Takapuna over Shoal Bay - Bayswater Coast
Skyline of Takapuna over Shoal Bay

This coast has the nicest boat houses I’ve seen along the New Zealand coast.  Some appear to be situated on a kind of extra back yard, but right on the bay.  The buildings probably serve as more than just a place to store boats and related equipment.

Bayswater foreshore - Bayswater coast
Bayswater foreshore

I got the sense that few people walk the foreshore here.  A group of people sitting in their yard asked me where I was going, and there was a “why are you here” vibe.  They weren’t otherwise unfriendly though.

Bayswater foreshore - Bayswater coast
Bayswater foreshore

I headed out toward the sandbar a bit early, and found the going very soft and muddy.

Bayswater foreshore - Bayswater coast
Bayswater foreshore

I walked all the way to the end of the sand bar.

Takapuna from the end of the sandbar - Bayswater coast
Takapuna from the end of the sandbar

The pic below looks back toward the Bayswater coast, and shows the net some people had just finished setting up.  Low tide had passed, and the water would soon be coming back in, eventually flowing like a river.  I think they probably left with a lot of fish.

Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve - Bayswater coast
Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve

I walked back on the sandbar proper, on much former ground.

Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve - Bayswarer coast
Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve

Below is a parting look along the sandbar.

Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve - Bayswater coast
Sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve

Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve it becomes very muddy near the shore.

Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve - Bayswater coast
Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve
Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve - Bayswater coast
Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve

Fortunately there are a couple of sandbars just off of the Bayswater Coast that let me make it to Sandy Bay Reserve.

Sandbars to Sandy Bay Reserve - Bayswater coast
Sandbars to Sandy Bay Reserve
Sandy Bay Reserve
Sandy Bay Reserve

I walked to the end of Sandy Bay Reserve, but found no way forward that wasn’t all deep mud and overgrown mangroves.  I retreated to Sandy Bay Road and took that and Bayswater Avenue to the First World War Heritage Trail next to O’Neill’s Point Cemetery.

O'Neill’s Point Cemetery - Bayswater Coast
O’Neill’s Point Cemetery

The bridge was built to last, and gets a lot of use.

First World War Heritage Trail - Bayswater Coast
First World War Heritage Trail, bridge over the mud and mangroves of Shoal Bay

We’re moving into late fall here in New Zealand, and the sun sets by 6:00.

Sunset over Shoal Bay - Bayswater Coast
Sunset over Shoal Bay

The path from O’Neill’s Point Cemetery is part of the Green Route from Devonport to Takapuna.

Green Route from Devonport to Takapuna
Green Route from Devonport to Takapuna

At Northboro Reserve I called it a day, and caught a bus back to my car at Bayswater Marina.

Enjoy the full gallery of 22 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Bayswater Breakwater, a unique and scenic short walk

Bayswater Marina is is enclosed on three sides by a 900 meter floating breakwater that is open to the public for walking and enjoying the views and sea breezes at sea level.  It also provides deepwater access and is popular for fishing.

Central Auckland and Sky Tower from Bayswater Marina Breakwater
Central Auckland and Sky Tower from Bayswater Marina Breakwater

Bayswater breakwater is easy to access by parking across from the big old white building at the north end of the marina, just south of Marine Parade Reserve.  It’s a short walk to the ramp to the breakwater itself.

Bayswater Windsports building and Bayswater Parade Reserve
Bayswater Windsports building and Bayswater Parade Reserve

A gate at the top of the ramp is locked at sunset, and whenever marina management considers weather conditions unsafe.

Early views include Shoal Bay and the Harbour Bridge.

Auckland Harbour Bridge from Bayswater Breakwater
Auckland Harbour Bridge from Bayswater Breakwater

The south side looks right across Waitemata Harbor at central Auckland.

Central Auckland from Bayswater Breakwater
Central Auckland from Bayswater Breakwater

The last section was closed on my last visit.  I assume marina management has deemed it unsafe for some reason.

Bayswater Breakwater
Bayswater Breakwater

If you could reach the end of hte breakwater you’d have an even better view over Ngataringa Bay to Stanley Point.

Ngataringa Bay and Stanley Point
Ngataringa Bay and Stanley Point

These larger walled platforms seem to have been built for fishing.

Bayswater Breakwater
Bayswater Breakwater

On the way back you’re looking over Shoal Bay toward Takapuna.

Shoal Bay and Takapuna
Shoal Bay and Takapuna

Everything looked great in the light of the approaching sunset, and I wasn’t done walking.

Bayswater Parade Reserve
Bayswater Parade Reserve

The tide was low, and the coast beckoned.

Bayswater Parade Reserve
Bayswater Parade Reserve

I didn’t have time to go far.  But I did confirm that i wanted to come back and walk this coast another time.

Shoal Bay Coast
Shoal Bay Coast

Bayswater is a favorite north shore location with some great coast access and unique views of Auckland.

Bayswater
Bayswater

Please enjoy the full gallery of 18 pictures below.  To view on imgur click here.

Meet Owha and the Wild Animals of Auckland

One of the greatest things about New Zealand is the number of wild animals that you can meet, and in some cases hang out with.  Auckland has one of the best places in New Zealand to meet a wide range of the rarest species of birds and reptiles (I’ll take you there soon).  Kiwi people love their birds, and I’m becoming a big fan of them myself, but it’s hard to beat the experience of hanging out with seals, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, whales and the like.  Auckland doesn’t really have that.

Or does it?

Owha the leopard seal
Owha the leopard seal – from USA Today

Owha the leopard seal recently made news again in Auckland by sunbathing at Bayswater Marina during commute hours.  I haven’t found a way to embed their video, so I’ll just link to the page at nzherald.co.nz.

Below is a video about Owha taking up residence at Westhaven Marina, the other marina near central Auckland.

A friend met Owha last week when she jumped up onto the dock about a meter in front of her at Basywater Marina, and looked at her with big dark eyes.  She had really wanted to see the big seal, but she wasn’t ready to to be that close, and was too focused on putting some distance between them to take pictures.

Her husband drives a ferry and has seen Owha a number of times.  He thinks that Owha came so close to his wife because she wants help with a fish hook she has in her left flipper, and the fishing line wrapped around her.  You can see it in the nzherald.co.nz video, but not the Westhaven video above, so it seems to be recent.  This is one unfortunate problem for her living the water of such a populated area.  It’s tricky to sedate a big marine mammal without drowning them, and risky to try to capture such a large animal, and I don’t know of any plans to help Owha with that fishhook.

Below is one more video asking for general help with respecting Owha’s space.

“It’s not unusual for a leopard seals to visit New Zealand in winter. But they normally stay for a short period then head south for Antarctica in spring,” says Auckland Marine Ranger Dr. Krista Hupman. “What’s unusual is having a leopard seal stay in New Zealand for 16 months and take up residence in the waters of our largest city,” says Dr Hupman.

“But Owah has been seen on beaches, marina pontoons and public boat ramps throughout Auckland, on Waiheke and on other Hauraki Gulf islands for the last 13 months without causing anyone any harm.”
scoop.co.nz

Owha, from stuff.co.nz
Owha, from stuff.co.nz

While searching for information on Owha I came across video of Sammy the seal.  I don’t know anything about him, but he seems to have been around Auckland long enough to be named.

Bayswater seems to have good luck with wildlife encounters judging by these videos of Owha, Sammy and the family of orcas below.

Even with Owha living in Auckland it’s pretty rare to see her, unless you live or work on the harbor.  People who do have seen orcas in the harbor as well, but I haven’t yet had the pleasure.  Encounters with animals like these in the wild is a rare treat for most Aucklanders, but it’s pretty nice to have the chance in such a big city.

Auckland is a great place to see little blue penguins, kiwi and other rare birds like takahe, and the rare and unique reptile the tuatara.  I’ll take you to meet them soon.