We had not been to Tawharuanui Regional Park for at least 10 years.
We often visited with the kids as it was a great place for a day at the beach, nice sandy bays with interesting rocky headlands between. The kids were never very interested in the walks so we never really got to try them.
After yet more jabs (only one more visit), we decided to make the most of the warm late autumn day and drive up to the park, just over an hour north of Auckland.
There is now a predator fence around the park so we were interested to see what impact this was having.
We parked the car beside a lagoon and headed off up a short but sharp climb across farmland that was dotted with equal numbers of sheep and Pukekos. They are two species that suit each others company, both seem to be a little deficient in the brain department.
The initial hour of the coastal walk is through undulating farm land with patches of bush. We noticed the birdsong even in this reasonably open country. The views across to Kawau Island are stunning although the regular gullies that the track undulated through were a not so welcome in the heat.
The track forked and we started to head for “Anchor Bay” and were very soon in a spectacular bush setting with bird life that we have only ever seen on Tiri Tiri Matangi Island. It was stunning to see and hear such a range of rare birds on the mainland. North Island Robins that almost let you touch them, Saddlebacks and Bellbirds that drowned out the usually dominant Tui calls. They were flying around our heads and fossicking in the undergrowth close to our feet. As we got close to Anchor Bay we were even more surprised to come across Takehe.
The bush then cleared away to reveal Anchor Bay, quite spectacular coming at it from this angle rather then the car park that we had always previously arrived at.