Out of Auckland
Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
35Trip End May 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
We ended up out in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. We stopped at a really amazing info center, and they pointed us to these two campground in the area, both of which turned out to be beautiful. But curiosity got the best of us, and, guided only by a tiny campsite symbol on our map, we ended up driving past both of them down a crazy, windy gravel road through the mountains (a tsunami evacuation route!) right down to the ocean
We spent the evening out there, wandering around. It rained good and hard for a while, so we hid in a crevasse in the rock until it stopped. Curtis even filled his pockets with Mussels off the rocks for dinner! We walked back up the grassy tent spot, and it started pouring! We barely got the tent up in time. Curtis cooked in the rain, but then it stopped for a bit to let us see the stars! Just a beautiful, magical place. During the night it rained a bit, but mostly the wind just howled around us. We were dry and warm though! Yay tent!
Next day, we got bundeled up in our rain coats and pants. Lucky, because it rained on and off all day. We didn't mind, it actually made it more fun. 20 minutes walk from where we camped there were these amazing caves. Some were tiny, one was HUGE, we figured about 50' wide and 150' long? Crazy! The best one though, we had to walk for a bit, then ditched our daypacks and crawled, then rolled up our pants and waded through ice cold fresh water, then crawel some more! Very intense, I was terrified the whole time, Curtis was thrilled. At the end he wiggled through a tiny hole and luckily it didn't go any further so he came back:)
We headed out to walk to the far point of the beach, where the waves were HUGE
It stopped raining and the we played on the sand dunes while the sun shone:) We spent the rest of the day wandering around, exploring the dunes and huge rocky hills by the beach.
Next day we packed up. Some locals we met out on the beach told us about the World Junior Surfing Championships, going on just up the road from us in Piha. We checked that out; the surfers were amazing, and I swear they were all under 4' tall! We carried on our way up north, and stopped in Waiwera for the night. With our campsite we got cheap passes to the hotsprings across the road, so we did that. They were really good, with tons of waterslides, pools of all different temperatures, and even a "Movie Pool" (Dyllan, we watched Hannah Montanah!) After a good long soak, we turned in. A fantastic few days we won't forget!