Today the weather was mostly fine with occasional rain, but since Auckland is "who dares, wins" weather-wise we took off with some friends to the Upper Nihotupu Dam in the Waitakere ranges, about 45 minutes drive west of the CBD.
Our family visited the dam a couple of months ago, and at that time it was half-empty --- about ten metres of exposed bank between the high water mark and the waterline. I guess they've had plenty of rain in the Waitakeres recently because today the lake was absolutely full. In fact the spillway was operating, which was quite spectacular! (See below.)
It's about a 40 minute walk each way from the car park (on the Piha road just after it turns off Scenic Drive) to the dam, mostly along a service road. We got showered on lightly at one point but otherwise the weather was excellent, clear and sunny. Recent rain actually made the site particularly attractive --- apart from the operating spillway, the bush was most irriguous and streams and waterfalls were running high.