Luckily there was a bit of a smooth path through the rocks once you got up near the bank and then when we got onto the track it certainly was very well worn, with hundreds of tree roots protruding in between the packed dirt. We passed a steady stream of people coming back from the beach, it’s obviously a very popular place.
Before long we came to the top of the saddle & glimpsed white sand & aqua blue through the huge pohutukawa trees.
Off to the right I spotted a track heading up to what looked like a look-out so off I scrambled. It got steadily steeper & steeper and in the end I was climbing up the rock face grabbing tree roots for hand holds. But it was worth it for the view that awaited me at the top. I could see down both side of the ridge to Whangapoua Beach & New Chums.
The getting down had me worried as I only had my jandals on which was a bit silly but I didn’t want sand getting in & annoying me if I'd worn my open walking shoes. I took my time, one step at a time, sliding down a couple of sections on my butt and holding flax & aerial roots to steady myself.
|Up there, that's where I went & that is looking straight down!|
The remainder of the track ran through some beautiful bush lined with dozens of Nikau Palms, then we were out onto the white sand beach fringed with large overhanging pohutukawa that provided some welcome shade while we had our lunch. Even though we’d passed a few people there was hardly anyone there, a couple of families fishing & a few couples sunbathing.
It really is a beautiful beach, very tranquil and pristine and well worthy of it’s placing in the world’s top 20 beaches.
|New Chums Beach|
On the way back we stopped to check out the mussel nursery, thousands upon thousands of tiny mussels packed tightly onto dozens of the rocks at the start of the walk. They must get squeezed off as they grow and then float out to the bigger & deeper rocks & re-attach themselves.
I also stopped to watch a Variable Oystercatcher feeding around the rocks. It had managed to find a large green lipped mussel & was trying to prise it open with it's long bill which reminded me of chop sticks. It pushed & probed & poked then it picked it up & carted it off to a pool and dropped it in there. I'm sure it was hoping that the mussel would breathe & then it could quickly poke it's beak in & prise it open. It didn't have any luck.
Tomorrow we head of to Whitianga, it was a short but delightful stay at Whangapoua.