The Watercare Coastal Walkway is a bit long to walk, at 7km one way, especially considering that no buses run to Otuataua Stonefields, one end of the walk. One day I’d like to do it on a bicycle. In the meantime I decided to go check out one of the side trips along the walkway – the Mangere Lagoon loop. To see the lagoon on Google Maps, click here.
Mangere Lagoon is a maar, a broad, low-relief volcanic crater caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption, an explosion which occurs when groundwater comes into contact with hot lava or magma. It has a small scoria island in the center. Mangere Mountain is right next to it.
Mangere Lagoon is a tidal lagoon. The tide was low during my visit. Below is a picture from Wikimedia Commons, taken from Mangere Mountain, showing more water in the lagoon. You can see the narrow causeway that separates the lagoon from the Manukau Harbor. In the distance is the causeway that leads to Puketutu Island.
We parked in the carpark just off of Creamery Road, and walked in a clockwise direction. This leads quickly to the causeway that separates the lagoon from Manukau Harbor.
Black swans decorated the land and seascapes.
In the 30s they tried to convert the Mangere Lagoon to pasture land. In the late 50s the scoria cone was removed and the lagoon converted into sludge ponds for sewage treatment.
Later they created an improved sewage treatment facility next to the lagoon. You can see it on the left edge of the first pic in this post. The lagoon and scoria cone were restored, with extra flat space for birds to roost.
It was a fairly short walk, so we went to check out Puketutu Island. We parked in the carpark where you arrive on the island, and walked the path to the north. It’s a nice walk along the coast with views over the harbor, but it ends after maybe a 20 minute walk. Beyond that path and one to the south of the carpark, access to the island seems to be restricted.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 12 pictures below. To view on imgur, click here.