New Zealand 2016 – Waitakere Ranges

After exploring Auckland and getting enough sleep to stave off jetlag, I picked up my campervan and tentatively hit the road for a day-trip outside the capital. Jono sent me in the direction of the gorgeous beaches of the Waitakere Ranges, where I dove in head first, guns blazing, to life on the other side of the road.

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(4 March 2016)

12:25p – Huia, New Zealand – Though nerve-wracking and confusing, driving is made worth it by the crystalline coastal views and the SMELL from the open windows: freshness embodied.
The Huia Store was a welcome respite in the flavor of western general stores, where the cold drinks and cabinet food are only an empty queue’s wait away.

1:54p – Whatipu Beach – What Jono said was that it was “quite cool”. What Jono did not say about the road to Whatipu was that it is a steep, white-knuckled 8 km of twisting, turning, gravel curves. The ups and downs were so fierce I was literally willing the van to stay put where I put it. The only sounds louder than the aching brakes and cackling of bugs in the dense, sub-tropical rainforest were the beats of my throbbing heart. I have to do it again on the way out, but all that seems hushed now behind the wind rushing past my ears as I sit ass-deep in black sand with my face to the Tasman Sea. The gorgeous water an waves – deep Crayola cerulean blue – hide their dangerous depths, which are full of rips and rock.
The black sand is an indescribable color – a warm charcoal like embers, mixed with perfectly violet swaths that shocked me to pieces when I saw them.
I am never coming home.

4:14p – Piha Beach – where Aussies come to surf, says Jono. 

Tomorrow, we head for the open road . . .

Be well till then, my loves.

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