It was time to brave the Auckland Motorway system again to get to the west coast beaches, but there was less traffic on it than when I'd arrived, so I was less panicky about it.
The journey was much faster than I had imagined, so I drove down to Karekare beach en route. There is a modern sealed road now, though it is still a narrow road. In the past it must have been a difficult and somewhat perilous journey downhill.
But the beach was beautiful. The tide was low and it was a bit of a trek from the car park to the water.
Marram grass has always fascinated me, since the day I saw seed heads all rolling along the sand in a storm. They've been planted in Manawatu, but with limited success. They build dunes high and quickly, but can be subject to blow-out and quick disappearance. There were a lot of marram grass seed heads to fascinate me on dunes they've planted here. I wish them luck.
I've been surprised by how little driftwood I've seen, especially since there is so much forest nearby.
It wasn't far to Piha, and there was a viewpoint at the top of the hill.
Piha beach is a lovely place to walk along.
Yesterday evening I stayed on the beach to watch the sunset over the ocean. This morning I was up early to walk, when it was mainly just surfers around. And this afternoon I put on togs to swim between the flags. Exhilarating- like a combo between a washing machine and a spa bath. Brought back many Taranaki childhood memories!