Omana to Orua Bay North Island 01 July 2008
14 Jul 2008
The car park at Omana was well above sea level with a beautiful view over the sea. What a tranquil place, that is until 8am when a very noisy grass cutting machine was driven near to our van. Ah well, who would want to waste such a lovely morning, (except me).
I was driven from our bed by Sylvia and after breakfast we walked down to the beach and then walked round the parameter of the park. At first we enjoyed coastal views and a distance view towards Auckland before turning inwards, passing goats tethered by kennels. At the back of the park were mangrove swamps which reminded us of some of our walks in Queensland, Australia. This was a lovely start to our day, as was the coffee and biscuits we had on return to the van.
Our destination today is across on the east coast at Orua Bay just inside the Manukau entrance to Manukau Harbour. The distance of about 65 miles didn’t seem so far, even taking into account the slow winding journey over and along high hills, which is normal travel in New Zealand. Who wants to go fast and miss the views anyway? Well, we hadn’t counted on traveling through the industrial town of Papakura, near by the main travel route up to Auckland. Papakura does not appear to have any worthwhile signs to help the traveler who is passing through.
Amongst the knowledge gained during our travels now ranks our intimate views of the Papakura town centre, viewed from north, south, east and west, and of several of the local housing estates. Eventually we found ourselves on the Great South Road, heading north to Auckland. About 6 miles up the road we were able to join the SH1 going south and leave this road at a junction which allowed us to go on our way, detouring to Clarks Beach where we enjoyed lunch before driving on to Waiuku.
Waiuku is the gate way to the Awhitu Peninsula, and after passing through our journey had its ups and downs. About half way along we were on high following a ridge, with views down to the left into a deep valley which was still well above sea level. At last we dropped down to Orua Bay. The camp owners were away shopping so we chose a site and went for a walk along the beach.
Our walk took us past a number of houses whose road out from the property was along the beach, and their drives could only be accessed a couple of hours either side of high tide. We learned that during the storms of last week the tide had been reluctant to go out, and neither did the house holders who were in situ.
After taking in the views at the end of the beach we noticed the tide was now coming in. Not wanting to spend the night on a beach house front porch we set off back. About 10.30pm Sylvia took a walk to the beach front. From our remote area she was able to look across to the bright lights of Auckland where almost a third of the New Zealand population live.
Once more we enjoyed the sound of the waves as we went to sleep.