Before starting my 2 week tour of New Zealand, I had a weekend to spend in Auckland. One of the days was spent admiring the city’s skyline and for the other day I opted for a day tour outside. As you know I am all about nature. So I chose a tour to the Waitakere ranges with Habitat tours.
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The tour to the Waitakere Ranges was a full day with a lot of variety. I really enjoyed it. Plus the guide made the effort of dropping me off outside of the city center which is rare. Although the weather was not really on my side, I got to admire:
- lush rainforests with ancient trees including the Kauri trees
- A black sand beaches
- a hidden lake fringed my a massive black sand dune.
- A waterfall,
- a gannet colony
Walk in the lush rainforest
We started by a walk in ancient rainforest, learning about berries used for bullets and leaves used for poking by the Maori. Sadly, the trees are attacked by a spore and we had to spray our shoes before entering.
It you like rainforest, I also experienced it in Guadeloupe during a hike under the pouring rain.
Black Sand Beach
A big change in scenery after that as I went for a walk on Bethells beach. Very windy, but it was nice to be away from the tourist and walk for the very first time on a black sand beach. Although it does not look that black on the photos I concede.
After we found protection from the wind and enjoyed a very nice picnic (prepared by my guide and his wife). No time for a nap after that, there was more to see and we hiked above the beach:
I enjoyed it, but nothing bits the Jokulsarlon black sand beach covered with Icebergs in Iceland.
Black Sand Dunes
Not far away from Bethells beach, there is a sand dune surrounded by green and a lake. We climbed up there and I really enjoyed the contrasting landscape. The black sand was sparkling whenever the sun was getting out!
This was followed by another peaceful walk in the forest (replanted this time) up to a waterfall. I remember the guide telling me something about that place, historically. I think it was about transportation of wood… History is really not my thing...
Colony of gannets
The last stop was a very smelly spot where we could observe a colony of gannets. A nice end to the tour.
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Have you ever seen black sand dunes?