Tag Archives: rocks

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.

DSCF2880 (1280x960)

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.
DSCF2884 (1280x960)

The surf was heavy but not as dramatic as it would have been on the South coast.
DSCF2891 (1280x960)

The beach here is rocky.

DSCF2889 (1280x960)

Banks of these rocks shelve steeply

DSCF2888 (1280x960)

and the undertow is sharp and strong.

DSCF2885 (1280x960)

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!

DSCF2895 (1280x960)

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.

DSCF2902 (1280x960)

Ocean currents bring huge logs and tree stumps on to the beach.
DSCF2904 (1280x960)

Rock pools offer hidden delights but close supervision of children is needed at all times, given the strength of the sea.
DSCF2898 (1280x960)

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.

DSCF2892 (1280x960)

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.

Advertisements

Another wild coastline

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

DSCF2875 (1280x960)

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.

DSCF2879 (1280x960)

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

DSCF2874 (1280x960)

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

DSCF2873 (1280x960)

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

DSCF2869 (1280x960)

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

A trip to the South Coast

A break in the weather meant a jaunt down to the South Coast of Wellington. It was a stunning day but any breeze that was blowing was still bitterly cold. Our climate can be harsh here so any day when the sky is clear blue, the wind low and the sun shining brightly is a day to get out and about.

It has been a long time since we visited this wild, wind-swept and often stormy stretch of coastline. When the southerlies pound in the sea is an extreme and dangerous force.

It is also near the entrance to the Wellington Harbour and around the road to the west is the runway for the airport.

Across the Wellington Heads the land is no less rugged or any more hospitable.

DSCF2847 (1280x960)

The channel into the harbour has many jagged rocks and reefs so navigation is done very carefully, often with a locally based Pilot to steer foreign ships safely into the harbour.
DSCF2846 (1280x960)

There are no safe swimming beaches but plenty of rocks to climb and explore.
DSCF2838 (1280x960)

Diving is a popular past time for the people brave enough to go into the icy waters.

The sea here is a mix of Cook Strait (that divides the two main islands of New Zealand) and the Pacific Ocean.
DSCF2849 (1280x960)

Sadly the high, snow-laden Kaikoura mountains at the northern part of the South Island were hazy but they help explain why the air is so very, very cold at the moment.
DSCF2843 (1280x960)

After braving the rough, stony beach to take some photos, including this one of one of the regular Ferries that cross Cook Strait
DSCF2841 (1280x932)

and of this aeroplane coming in to land at the airport, we headed to a popular café in nearby Lyall Bay to enjoy a hot drink.
DSCF2858 (1280x960)

From the footpath near the café the view goes back to the airport and beyond that the beach we had just stopped at to take the photos.
DSCF2860 (1280x960)

In contrast this is a sandy beach and people surf and swim here although the water is never particularly warm.

Bracing and beautiful summed up the experience.

Ironic

When the land you love shakes beneath your feet

DSCF5556 and even rocks that look so solid
DSCF5560

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
DSCF5561

and the tides come and go.
DSCF5562
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.
DSCF5563
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.
DSCF5557

Rocks in the pool that is life

And then there is the day when the dry and the dying are present to you despite the blue sky, the beauty and the soothing sounds of water and birds.

DSCF4904

DSCF4902

A day when you recall that the path ahead is often hard, bleached of colour and curves away unseen.
DSCF4905

When the rocks in life appear large in a depleted pool
DSCF4907

and when a foundation rock of your own life has gone into another form.
DSCF4911

Plimmerton beach

Plimmerton beach is one of my favourite beaches. I played and swum here as a child and I have lived for more than 20 years in a nearby suburb.

It has a lovely large sandy bay with very safe swimming.

2007_1110Image0069

2012_0229Image0111

2012_0229Image0112

And on some of the sea walls there are quotes from Shakespeare made from old pieces of brick that have washed up on this beach.
2012_0229Image0102
Read about those here, here and here.

It also has rocky areas mixed with sand.

2007_0928Image0102

It has views across the opening of the Porirua harbour to Whitireia Park.

2007_0928Image0101

2007_0928Image0100

2012_0229Image0110

And around in the next bay there are wee sandy coves and lots of rocks with rock pools to search in.

2013_0128Image0048

2013_0128Image0045

2013_0128Image0046

2013_0128Image0047