Tag Archives: Cornwallis

Leaving Auckland is such sweet sorrow

Some time around early November I knew that I would soon be leaving Auckland.  I resolved to make the most of the time I had left.  It was a sort of New Years resolution, and I started strong, with a 3 day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island in early January.

Rangitoto Island and Auckland CBD from Tiritiri Matangi Island
Rangitoto Island and Auckland CBD from Tiritiri Matangi Island

After that my efforts tapered off quite a bit.  I found myself leaving Auckland with the islands of the Hauraki Gulf are still largely unexplored.  A trip to the islands takes a fair bit of planning, and I didn’t really make that happen.  I made a visit to Waiheke Island, but only for one day of Sculpture on the Gulf.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

I did continue to experience Auckland’s nature and culture.  I spent a day immersed in Pacific Island cultures at the Pasifika Festival.

Cook Islands Stage
Cook Islands Stage

Before leaving Auckland I became familiar with my new neighborhood the Kaipatiki region.  I moved there at the end of November.  This area is densely populated with parks and reserves.

Hilders Park and western Waitemata Harbor - Leaving Auckland
Hilders Park and western Waitemata Harbor

I met a girl last fall, and she had better opportunities in south Hawkes Bay.  I’m a digital nomad, so moving is not a problem for me.  There are some things I miss about the only place in New Zealand that I’ve ever called home, but leaving Auckland is an opportunity to get to know a part of New Zealand that I’ve barely begun to explore.

I don’t miss Auckland’s traffic.  But I do miss taking ferries as a way to avoid traffic.

Double hulled waka on Waitemate Harbor - Leaving Auckland
Double hulled waka on Waitemate Harbor

The gulf, harbors, and islands of Auckland offer a lot of great views that appear before you as you move about the city.  Since the end of November we enjoyed a view of western Waitemate Harbor from our living room and deck.  It was flanked by young kauri trees.

Kaipatiki view of western Waitemate harbor - Leaving Auckland
Kaipatiki view of western Waitemate harbor

On our way out of Auckland we drove to the top of One Tree Hill.  It was a beautiful winter day.  We took in that great 360 degree view of the city and the region.

Eastern Auckland from one Tree Hill - Leaving Auckland
Eastern Auckland from one Tree Hill

In both panoramas you can see both Tamaki Strait in the east and Manukau Harbor in the west.  Look closely and you’ll see the sheep on One Tree Hill.

Western Auckland from one Tree Hill - Leaving Auckland
Western Auckland from one Tree Hill

There was a bit of moisture in the air, but it was clear enough to see Cornwallis Peninsula across Manukau Harbor, and behind it Manukau Heads and one of the peaks of Whatipu.

Manukau Harbor, Cornwallis Peninsula, Manukau Heads and Whatipu - Leaving Auckland
Manukau Harbor, Cornwallis Peninsula, Manukau Heads and Whatipu

After this long goodbye we got on with leaving Auckland.  We went slightly out of our way to stop for lunch in Rotorua.  We drove to the lake for a quick look before continuing.  We had left a day late due to some work that came up, and by waiting we got a much nicer day for the drive.

Lake Rotorua - Leaving Auckland
Lake Rotorua

Southern Hawkes Bay has somewhat more distinct seasons than Auckland, with frost a few times every year.  Last summer at least was much more of a summer in Hawkes Bay.

We had the next day off, and the weather was clear, so we were able to get right into exploring the area.  We had left Auckland for new horizons.  But I’m sure that we’ll return, if only to visit.

Cornwallis

Cornwallis is a peninsula (and a Regional Park) in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, next to Huia, on the Manukau Harbor (view on Google Maps).

Cornwallis Warf
Cornwallis Warf

I chose the Jubilee Walk, which takes in Cornwallis Beach and Cornwallis Wharf, but there is surely more in the area worth exploring.  I can’t recommend the Jubilee Walk as a loop, because the road part is dry and dusty and busy with traffic, but the bush part of it is nice enough, although pretty short.  Park in the first carpark you see on Pine Avenue – there are signs for the Jubilee Walk.  Park on the right side of the road, and take the track that way.

Jubilee Walk
Jubilee Walk

You’ll soon arrive at Cornwallis Beach, which was the highlight of my visit.

Cornwallis Beach
Cornwallis Beach

It’s a long beach, with plenty of grass and picnic areas along its length.

Cornwallis Beach from Cornwallis Wharf
Cornwallis Beach from Cornwallis Wharf

Maui dolphin have been spotted at Cornwallis Beach, but I wasn’t so lucky.

Cornwallis Wharf
Cornwallis Wharf

From some points along the beach you can see McLachlan Monument.  Monument Track may be a nice walk, certainly a nice climb, sure to offer some great views.

McLachlan Monument
McLachlan Monument

Once I got a look at a map near the beach I got a better idea of what the area and the various tracks offer.

Map of Cornwallis
Map of Cornwallis

In retrospect I should have gone and done the Kakamatua Beach Walk, and gotten a look at another Cornwallis area beach.  But instead I went and had a look at the view from Huia Point Lookout.  It’s well worth a stop if you’re in the area.

Manukau Heads, the opening of Manukau Harbor, Whatipu, and Huia, from Huia Point Lookout
Manukau Heads, the opening of Manukau Harbor, Whatipu, and Huia, from Huia Point Lookout

Huia Beach was another worthwhile stop.

Huia Beach
Huia Beach

You can view the full gallery of 23 pictures below.  There may be some minor problems with the gallery below, but as always you can view all of the pictures on imgur (click here).