The church held a men’s retreat at a campsite up North at Pakiri Beach, and of course I went along. The retreat was great and I had a fantastic time. I also got a chance to take a photo or two along the way!
As you can see, the skies were a bit gray. But we were so fortunate in that it didn’t really rain at all right up until we had packed everything up and were getting ready to leave. The issue of divine weather control is more theologically complicated than I would like to get into here, but I was grateful!
Pakiri Beach is up a bit north of Tawharanui, not too far from Goat Island. That whole area is characterized heavily by rolling hills right next to lovely white-sand beaches.
We weren’t exactly roughing it, as you can see. This sort of camping is called dump camping, because you just drive up and dump your stuff next to your car. Still fun to do some tenting though!
We arrived about nightfall Friday night. I have a quite handy LED lantern I used to help set up my tent, which is actually Jordan’s tent that I borrowed.
The next morning, I crawled out of the tent and found a white-faced heron landing right next to our campsite!
These birds are quite common to New Zealand, but they’re very cool looking. Novice birdwatchers might be tempted to confuse the white-faced heron with a pied shag, but even an amateur such as myself can see the difference with a clear shot.
I caught another one looking majestic in mid-flight. But wait…is that a horse rider in the background?
Yes, yes it is. So much to see in the morning on Pakiri Beach.
Later on that Saturday, Jordan and I decided to take a walk along the dunes.
The Poutawa Stream comes right off the Northwestern bit of the Hauraki Gulf, both of which Pakiri Beach borders. This is a small offshoot of the main stream, which can get fairly wide. This bridge does not inspire much confidence, but as I was in my swimwear I was not bothered.
It is a very nice walk along the stream (I wish I had photographed the map of the place hanging in one of the offices, as I would be more tempted to call this bit an estuary).
Pakiri Beach adjoins some private property so as we walked along we were careful to respect fence lines.
I’m not sure what this is hanging from the tree. I’m not sure I want to know.
Jordan and I decided to do some action shots. Here he is taking a leap off a dune!
Graceful landing, too….
Just kidding! The landing turned into a successful action roll, and he reached the bottom upright (but sandy).
The beach transitions fairly abruptly into pasture land. I love the sand dunes right up next to the green hills!
More rolling pastures.
So that’s Pakiri Beach. It was a great weekend camping trip, and a very pretty area!