I am, slowly, visiting all the Western beaches. On this trip, I drove out to Karekare. Karekare is between Whatipu and Piha, which are probably my two favorite beaches so far.
Getting to the carpark requires a fairly intense drive along windy, narrow roads through the mountains. Just prepare yourself beforehand so you don’t arrive stressed from the drive and you’ll be fine :)
First, we’ll visit the beach. Not that this sign makes it sound super appealing! This particular day was a cool Fall day, so getting in the water wasn’t on the menu anyway.
The path to the beach is itself quite nice.
This guy was just chilling on the sand next to the water (like all Waitakere beaches, Karekare is a black sand beach). I think this would be a little shag, called kawaupaka in Maori and little pied cormorant in Australia.
First view of the actual beach.
Since I wasn’t keen on getting wet, navigating my way onto the beach did require some gymnastics to get around the water.
At one point I had to climb up a small ways onto the rock face in order to get around. I took this photo to document my feat (and my feet).
Karekare is not huge, but it’s not as small as one might think either. I was impressed by its stark beauty. Perhaps some warm sunny day I’ll come and enjoy the beach more fully.
Anyway, to get to the falls you actually have to walk out of the carpark, turn right, and head down the road a bit.
There are some helpful signs to guide you in case you’re confused, as I frequently am.
As you start up the trail, you’ll notice this super cool house perched on the hill side. And also…wait…what’s that? Let’s Zoom and Enhance(tm) the right-hand side a bit…
Why, I believe that would be our first glimpse of the falls!
Walking along, we come to this mini-falls along the face of a neat rock formation. And a natural pool has formed! So cool!
If it were summer and maybe 10 degrees warmer, I would totally be up for taking a dip in this little pool!
The trail then bends around under this quite neat looking tree. I’ve been walking for not more than 10 minutes and yet this trail has already yielded so many great things!
One such thing being this shorn tree branch. I’m going to run out of adjectives if I don’t carefully ration them, so I’ll just say that I enjoyed looking at it and move on.
Moving on is a wise choice, because around the next bend is the waterfall itself!
I’m really quite pleased with this shot here. Karekare Falls really do stand out as being quite impressive and beautiful. So much so that I chose this location to sit down and eat lunch.
After eating, I had enough energy to pick my way around the pool to the other side. This is an amazingly restful spot. I could spend all day here!
The falls are impressive, and as we’ll see in a moment they are even more impressive than we can see from this spot.
Hiking on, the trail passes under this super cool natural arch. It then climbs quite steeply, which, perhaps surprisingly, is a good sign…
…because it means we get views like this. Seldom does a single trip result in so many photos that I really like. I hope it’s a sign that my photography skills are improving, but I also think it’s an indication of just how awesome this location truly is.
Hiking a bit further, we can look back at the falls. This view shows how much more there is to Karekare Falls than can be seen up close.
And I will close out the post with a shot that I think shows Karekare Beach in its true glory. Such a lovely hike, such a fantastic spot, and such majestic falls. Certainly worth the drive, and I think anyone willing to do a bit of walking should consider checking it out.
That’s all for now! See you next time :)