Ninepin Rock and its lighthouse and another prominent feature of Whatipu Beach

Whatipu 2

In which Miles returns to Whatipu, and finds the sea caves.

To view the full gallery of 54 photos, click here.

You can read my previous posts on Whatipu here and here.

Visit the Whatipu page on the Auckland Council site here.

I may never tire of pointing out that I walked over the top of the peaks in the background of the photo below, and at least one more just like them.

View from the start of the Whatipu Caves Track
View from the start of the Whatipu Caves Track

There are a surprising number of caves along the Whatipu Caves Track, and you have to go off-trail to visit most of them. There is a real possibility that I didn’t see them all.  Some are small and taper quickly, such that an adult person might find them inadequate shelter from the rain.  Others can, and signs say have, hosted medium to large parties.

Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave
Whatipu Sea Cave

Cliffs and trees combine in interesting ways, as they do in New Zealand.

Whatipu Caves Track cliffs
Whatipu Caves Track cliffs

There was some daylight left, so I went for a look at Whatipu Beach.  Some prominent features are visible from a distance.

Ninepin Rock and its lighthouse and another prominent feature of Whatipu Beach
Ninepin Rock and its lighthouse and another prominent feature of Whatipu Beach

The river that meets Manukau Harbor near Paratutae Island had moved, making access, and even the view, different from my previous visit.

Wonga Wonga Bay, Manukau Heads in the distance, Paratutae Island on the right
Wonga Wonga Bay, Manukau Heads in the distance, Paratutae Island near right

This walkway, apparently carved into  Paratutae Island, was too tempting to resist.  On my previous visit I don’t remember seeing it.  I remember this whole area very differently.  I think it was actually different, due to tide and the movement of the river.

Walkway appears to carved into Paratutae Island
Walkway appears to carved into Paratutae Island

As sunset approached it was starting to seem dangerous to continue on the slippery rocks, but a natural tunnel offered a shortcut to the Tasman Sea.

Natural tunnel through part of Paratutae Island
Natural tunnel through part of Paratutae Island
Looking back at Manukau Harbor
Looking back at Manukau Harbor

The approaching sunset lit the landscape beautifully.

Evening lighting of Manukau Heads across the Manukau harbor, from Paratutae Island
Evening lighting of Manukau Heads across the Manukau harbor, from Paratutae Island
Lighthouse on Ninepin Rock, and another identifying feature of Whatipu Beach, at Sunset
Lighthouse on Ninepin Rock, and another identifying feature of Whatipu Beach, at Sunset

To view the full gallery of 54 photos, click here.

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