I am, it must be confessed, a remarkably lazy planner. I have a list of places I have heard about and might want to visit, and whenever I’m trying to figure out what I want to do I will pull something off the list. Most of the time this works really well. Sometimes it means my exploring is much less efficient than it could otherwise be.
Case in point: Goat Island.
Goat Island (and the nearby headlands) is up North nearly to Whangarei. It’s quite popular in the Summer amongst snorkelers, SCUBA divers, and other such sea explorers. Most people thought I was a bit daft to be going during Winter, though that part I think was actually good planning because it meant I had the place largely to myself, even if it also meant most things (such as cafes) were closed.
But I basically ended up re-driving nearly the entire route I drove to Whangarei! I’m not sure exactly how I could have squeezed the Goat Island trip into that two-day vacation, but I still felt like I was not traveling as efficiently as I could have.
But no matter! My first stop was a wee cove at a random turn-off from the main road.
I was able to clamber around and get some rather nice photos.
But this post is really about the short walk I did once I got up to the head: the Goat Island Coastal Walk.
This walk has that strange New Zealand charm where it feels in equal parts meticulously planned and entirely haphazard. You can see the first bit — paved and all — running alongside the road there (you’ll have to excuse me if the trail itself is on the periphery; I was distracted by the fantastic view!).
Of course there are sheep. (This photo was taken only a few minutes after the previous one. No, it didn’t suddenly become dusk. It’s just the stark difference between how well my actual camera and my phone camera deal with bright scenery.)
Some bits of the track are shaded, but much is out in the open sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen!
The hill is quite the steep climb, but it’s a short climb and the payoff is…well, just look.
Oh, look, I can see my car from here :)
And that is the actual Goat Island. Famous for giving its name to a touristy snorkeling area. Oh, and for having goats, I guess. Just kidding! No goats on Goat Island. For a minute I thought I was going to have to create a goats tag.
The coastline extends a lot further out than the track actually goes. What is that ghostly land mass in the background? I don’t rightly know. I would guess Tawharanui Peninsula, but depending on which way I’m facing it could actually be the Little Barrier Island! Or something else entirely; I have no idea!
What’s the best part about making it to the top? The view, obvs. What’s the second-best part? It’s all downhill from here!
And there were actually some shady bits, but I didn’t take quite as many photos of those parts.
That’s the Goat Island Coastal Walk! Next time we’ll still be in the Goat Island area. We’ll visit some birds and some dead people and follow along as I go on a really dodgy hike and try not to become a dead person myself. See you then!