Tag Archives: Mana Island

A visit to Makara Beach

In keeping with my recent posts of rugged coasts in my home region, here is another beach that is rugged, wild and beautiful.

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This Department of Conservation website gives more information about Makara and includes a map showing that the deep arcing Ohariu Bay and the beach are not too far from the most south western point of the North Island.

This is another west coast beach.   The very small settlement can be reached from either Johnsonville or Karori (both suburbs of Wellington). Either route is a narrow winding road with rural views, plenty of surrounding steep hills and roads that require careful attention and care.

After reaching flat, more open land the road suddenly offers a view of the bay. On the day we visited the day was crystal clear. The night before a southerly storm had raged but this beach is relatively sheltered from that wind and these high hills sheltered us from the icy wind that was still blowing.
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The surf was heavy but not as dramatic as it would have been on the South coast.
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The beach here is rocky.

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Banks of these rocks shelve steeply

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and the undertow is sharp and strong.

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This is never a safe swimming beach. The sound of these rocks being dragged back and forwards with each breaker was deafening but exhilarating.

A narrow walking track at the base of the high hills offers views back up the coast to the north and here, in the distance, you can see Mana Island and beyond it, the peak of Kapiti Island. The photo bombing bird is a Cormorant!

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When the predominant north-westerly wind howls this bay will take a pounding. Vegetation reflects the harsh, salt-laden, tough conditions. Flaxes, tufty grasses and Taupata do well but are stunted.

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Ocean currents bring huge logs and tree stumps on to the beach.
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Rock pools offer hidden delights but close supervision of children is needed at all times, given the strength of the sea.
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With so much natural energy via the wind in this remote landscape, there is a controversial wind farm now on the hills and from different parts of the settlement the blades of the turbines are visible. Up near this wind farm on the high hills are recreational options for the fit and energetic.

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I admire the local residents who live in such a remote and harsh environment. Their senses would be sharply alive all the time. I love visiting such wild spots with the exhilaration and beauty they offer but I much prefer a more moderate place in which to find my permanent home.

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Another wild coastline

Not far from my home on the West Coast of the North Island, New Zealand, there is more wild coastline.

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Views from above this coastline can be gained from Whitireia Park, a reserve area which some years ago was farmed.

Standing on the high cliffs in the park there is almost always a wind blowing across this exposed site. It is bracing and exhilarating.

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This high vantage point offers great views of Mana Island, a wildlife sanctuary.

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The rocks are rugged and treacherous here as the Tasman Sea washes into the Porirua harbour entrance.

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People use this stretch of coast and this park for all manner of recreational pursuits, both in the sea and on the land.

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My visit was to record more of the beautiful landscapes that are found in the area in which I am fortunate enough to live.

Vantage points

Summer has hit here with a capital “S”! Temperatures have been high and being out in the blazing sun for too long is not advisable. Sun hats, sun block, covering up, seeking shade and plenty of fluid is the order of the day.

The sky has been a deep, clear blue for days on end without a cloud in sight.

Yesterday an errand took me near this vantage point and I thought I would share some photos of the Porirua Harbour and views over Porirua.
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Mana marina, Porirua

Mana marina, Porirua


The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet.  Mana Marina to the right of the photo.

The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet. Mana Marina to the right of the photo.


The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua

The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua


The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.

The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.


Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua

Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua


A section of Porirua City

A section of Porirua City


The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city.  The highest point is known as Colonial Knob.  It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.

The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city. The highest point is known as Colonial Knob. It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.

A local resident was using his vantage point to fly the Union Jack.
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And finally this Black Backed Gull decided to use this vantage point near me!
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Winter contrasts

Cabin fever was building yesterday so we rugged up and headed out for a brief walk. It was brutally cold in the wind but bracing and refreshing as our faces tingled and our ears chilled.

The stark, coldness of the day was mirrored in the bare branches of this very tall tree in the car parking area.
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But along the roadway and around a corner, in a more sheltered spot here was this tree glowing orange with such warmth.
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Then an early appointment this morning saw me visit Plimmerton where I spotted the sun shining brightly on Mana Island.
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However a slight turn southwards showed the real weather on the mainland.
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The winter season can present a range of guises to wonder at and enjoy.

Ironic

When the land you love shakes beneath your feet

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suddenly can shift because of a greater force, you wonder what is certain about your life anymore.

But the waves will still form and break
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and the tides come and go.
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The sea air is still tangy and refreshing. The sun warm and the sky blue on days like this one.
A wave surge hits the sea wall and exhilarates you with delight as salt water splashes your face.
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It is ironic that nature means earthquakes here in Aotearoa but it is nature that we return to for solace and restoration of spirit and hope.
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