Today, Monday, is a public holiday in New Zealand --- "Anniversary Day". The weather during this long weekend has been mostly excellent: warm, sunny, fine except for some rain this morning. Our family made the most of it by spending a lot of time outside each day at various spots around Auckland...
On Saturday we had lunch at Achilles Point looking out over the ocean from St Heliers. Then we went for a walk around Churchill Park, a large open space with cattle on it. Along the western edge someone has constructed a very large private garden with ponds, ducks, and exotic plants. It abuts several houses so it must be some sort of community project. Quite mysterious, but very nice.
On Sunday after church we had lunch with some friends at Crazy Noodle in Newmarket. Wonderful milkshakes as usual. Then we went to the North Shore and ended up going for a walk through Northboro Park, then south along the bridge across the estuary. We saw eels, crabs and fish --- lots of fun. We want all the way past the Bayswater Cemetery to Plymouth Reserve before turning back.
Today we were a bit more organized and went with some friends to the Okura Bush Walkway, about half an hour's drive north of the city centre. This is not a loop track so we dropped a car in Stillwater at the north end and started the walk at the end of Haigh Access Road at the south end. It rained hard last night and we had some more showers early on, but that suited the rainforest feel of the Okura Bush section of the track. The kids enjoyed the mud too :-). After stopping by the Dacre Cottage for a picnic lunch we walked most of the the rest of the way along the beach. I went barefoot and just about managed to leave my shoes behind --- oops!
Altogether it was an enormously fun weekend, and also rather tiring --- in a good way. I'm looking forward to a restful day of Mozilla hacking tomorrow!
Over the last couple of years we've managed to do a lot of walks north, east and west of Auckland, as well as in the city area. I want to check out some areas to the south, especially the Hunua Ranges, 400 square kilometres of forest only an hour from Auckland but as far as I can remember I've never been there. There are just too many places to explore in the Auckland region!