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West Coast Beaches- North Island , New Zealand, part 2

Here are a series of scenes I took of the West Coast Beaches of the North Island, New Zealand.. Some have black sand which is quite common. I hope to go on a few more trips to not so often visited West Coast Beaches in the future.

The sea on the West Coast of New Zealand is the Tasman Sea, named after Able Tasman who discovered New Zealand in 1642, landed in Golden Bay top of the South Island. I think the Maori people frightened him off. The sealers and whalers started to settle in New Zealand in the late 1700.

My earliest ancestors arrived in New Zealand from England in 1840. I am ta 5th generation New Zealand European from my father’s side.

All along the West Coast are harbours with shifting sand bars at the mouth of the harbours and many ships were ship wrecked along the West Coast in the past. Today we have satellites and new technology but the entrance to West Coast harbours in New Zealand from the sea is still extremely dangerous and wrecks can occur on a sunny day, let alone when bad weather strikes.

However, the West Coast beaches are very beautiful to visit and there are many beach activities. Most of the beaches are free to visit. Along some rural less visited places, there are some beaches you just don’t visit as they are Maori beaches.

#1 Raglan, Waikato Region

This is a very beautiful place, here you see the heads of the Raglan harbour. Raglan is a very lovely place to visit. Along the coast there is a very rocky surf beach and another sandy beach that you turn off the road to visit with sand.

Many surfers go there to surf. There is a lagoon which is where many people go to swim not far from this spot. Raglan is about 3 hours or 2 and a half hours drive south from Auckland.

#2 Port Waikato, Waikato Region

This is a very remote place with a general store and one cafe. Over the hill is this remote beach.

It is a typical surf beach of the West Coast.

This is the beginning of the Waikato River which goes from here to Lake Taupo. It is a unique spot and it's a long drive about 2 hours south west from Auckland city.

#3 Piha

This is Piha Beach West Auckland, a mixture of black and golden sand. Its about 3/4 hours drive south from Auckland central.

It's a very popular but dangerous place, where many people have drowned but it's very beautiful

If you are careful in the water and don't swim alone and swim between the flags where the surf life savers can watch over you, you stay safe in any surf beach .

#4 New Plymouth

It's quite rocky here, this day there was gale force wind and rain. It was this day we visited it.

I have yet to visit this area again. 

New Plymouth is in the Taranaki region close to Mt Taranaki otherwise known as Mt Egmont. It's a beautiful place.

New Plymouth is 5 hours drive south from Auckland and 5 hours north of Wellington. 

#5 Muriwai

At Muriwai beach it's also as dangerous as Piha beach and there is a gannet colony here. This photo is taken from Maori bay but most people swim in another bay in Muriwai.

There is an island out there in the sea, I believe there may be some seals there and blue penguins and was one of the first gannet colonies here. 

The gannets are fenced off and some of the cliff faces are very steep. It's wise to stay to the set paths both for personal safety and the safety of the gannets.

#6 Karioitahi Beach

This is Karioitahi beach is the Franklin area, Waikato, 2 hours south west of Auckland. Here people ride horses on the beach. There are surfers here. 

Not a huge town and population is small.

#7 Karekare Beach

This is next to Piha beach. There is a steep hill from the main road that is narrow and winding, same can be said of the Piha road.

It's a beautiful place and near by there are the Karekare falls to visit. You follow this lagoon to the beach and there are surf life guards near by. 

#8 Bethels Beach

There is a 10 min walk to the beach from where you park the car. Its West Auckland and is north of Piha beach and south of Muriwai beach. 

There is a lake near by.

Stay clear of the fenced areas, they are for our precious protected bird life and give them a chance to breed and be free of predators here. Some nest in the sand and it's easy to walk on them but the bird people know they are usually by the tussock grasses and fence that off.

#9 Looking at Whatipu beach, Manukau Heads

This is the view from Awhitu Lighthouse of Whatipu beach and this is the entrance to the Manukau Harbour.  Here in 1863 the ship called the "Orpheus" was ship wrecked. Many of it's victims are buried in some graveyards here in Onehunga, Auckland.

What do you think?

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