On Saturday our family went back out to Whatipu, out on the west coast near the Manukau Harbour entrance, for the first time in years. It was a marvelous spring day and we just had to go somewhere to spend all day outside. On the way there we took the short detour to Mt Donald McLean. The view there is amazing --- all the way back to Auckland to the west, with Rangitoto and the Sky Tower clearly visible, and to the south all the way to Mt Karioi near Raglan and even --- on an extremely clear day, which this wasn't --- to Mt Taranaki.
At Whatipu itself we checked out the sea caves to the north, then went to the beach itself for a walk around. The beach, dunes and swamp are all so immense. So are the headlands marching off into the distance on the southern side of the Manukau harbour. We also climbed the southern ridge to visit the Signal House lookout --- a great walk through scrub and manuka forest to another great vantage point overlooking the beach.
View from Mt Donald McLean of waves breaking on the sandbar at the entrance to the Manukau harbour:
Headlands along the coast to the north of Whatipu: