Last time, we visited the fantastic Awhitu Regional Park. Not only did I get to go swimming and see some great sights, I also put my new camera through its paces.
But now, I got the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for literally months: visit the Manukau Heads Lighthouse.
(Side note: apparently whomever runs awhitu.com was not on the ball when it comes to renewing the domain, because the URL on that sign does not go anywhere useful anymore. Shame.)
Getting to the lighthouse requires a bit of driving along my favorite: a gravel road. There’s also a bit of a rut at one point that those with lower-slung cars will want to take at a slow speed — like about 1 kph. It’s worth it though.
As far as I can tell the lighthouse doesn’t actually do anything useful anymore; it’s just a tourist attraction. Still super cool though!
The inside of the lighthouse is mostly just stairs. There’s some random nautical-themed kitch on the walls though.
I haven’t ever been inside a lighthouse before! It’s actually pretty neat.
The obligatory “I can see my car from here” photo.
Zoom and Enhance ™. I’m not so committed to the joke to actually change lenses, but I kind of wish I had just to see how well zoomed-in the big lens would get me :)
From this height it’s easy to appreciate the beautiful, rolling hills of the Awhitu Peninsula. My understanding is that the folks who run the lighthouse do it as sort of a side hustle, as their day job involves doing farm stuff out here. Makes sense.
At this point, you’re saying “Nathan, stop screwing around and show the views of the harbor”. Your wish is, as always, my command :)
That would be Cornwallis Peninsula. It’s to the Southeast of the Waitakeres. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s on the list!
This is the Waitakere Ranges in all their glory.
(The over-exposed railing on the bottom left makes this photo look really weird on a white background.)
I hope I’ve gotten across even a tiny bit how amazing these views are. It’s humbling that even with my fancy new camera and a minuscule amount of photography experience under my belt it’s still quite difficult to convey in photographic form just how stunning it is to stand on the balcony of this lighthouse and look over this clear blue water to the steep hills on the other side…the light blue skies, the green-blue water, the dark green hills…man, I could have stayed here all day.
They wouldn’t let me, though, as the gates close at 5pm.
If you make it down to Awhitu, be sure to take the trip up to the lighthouse. It’s absolutely worth it, and I hope I conveyed even just a fraction of how cool it is to stand there looking out over Manukau Harbour.
We’re coming right up on the end of the year for me. These photos were taken right before Christmas. You may be wondering how I’m going to top all of this and end 2015 with a flourish. Just you wait :)