A nice, sunny Sunday afternoon can be elevated with a nice stroll…so why not head for one of the many tracks which are available to the average Kiwi (or immigrant) with time on their hands?
We decided to go to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park which we had driven through a few weeks before on our way to Piha. This time, we’d get out of the car and sample some of the local scenery on offer…including distant vistas of Auckland and a chance to see the forest up close, including the “at risk” Kauri trees.
We opted to do the Fairy Falls/Old Coach Road Tracks which make up a 5.6km loop. On a lovely day, a gentle stroll would be good…it was pretty steep both up and down hill – a bit of a surprise! We had lunch at the foot of the waterfall and there were barely any souls around…just the sound of water trickling, leaves blowing in a gentle breeze and birds calling from the treetops. I often think when you spend most of your time amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life that a feeling of isolation is a beautiful thing and all too rare a privilege…just us and nature…and not an engine noise to be heard anywhere. It is hard to get that sense of remoteness in England at times.
The first sighting of a Kauri tree reminded me in part of seeing the giant Sequoia trees in California…and there is mention on another walk of one such tree with a girth of 6.5 metres. Pretty big. It is a shame these trees have been decimated by logging in the past (they are now protected) but there is also the threat of Kauri dieback disease and so you need to disinfect your footwear before you enter the trails. Biodiversity is a serious issue here in NZ.
While lunching we were joined by what I think was a Tomtit (too small and fast to photograph!). We also saw a local Wood Pigeon which I managed to photograph, and also a couple of Fantails which I described in our visit to Rangitoto Island. We also heard other birds but didn’t see them…all in good time. Here are some pics from the walk…the ferns are truly lovely.