Dreaming in New Zealand: Auckland, Wainamu Lake and Te Henga

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and many think it’s the capital city, which of course, it is not – Wellington is. Despite not being the government main city, it is a business centre for the country and perhaps it has the best climate to live in! No wonder so many people call it home. Unfortunately a lot of foreigners noticed Auckland’s great appeal and decided to invest in the property market which in turn has driven the house prices right up making it almost impossible for low or medium income common folks to buy their first home. Knowing I would never be able to afford to live there, I should have made more out of my visit to this wonderful city…! 1 day did it absolutely no justice, so with much regret, here is what I managed to see in the city and on a short trip to the west coast.

I am still not a fan of Christmas in the tropics. The warm breeze feels oh so wrong…

Auckland is full of small architecture and lovely arranged public spaces.

Let’s leave the city for a few hours and discover what the west coast has to offer! This trip was a courtesy of my dear friend Dave – many thanks and hope your leaf collection grows indefinitely!

New Zealand is home to a lot of indigenous plants and trees. When you step outside the main cities you can indulge yourself in a slightly different looking environment compared to where you live. Highly recommended!

One of the highlights of the trip is Lake Wainamu in the Waitakere Ranges. Not too far from Te Henga Beach, as it is known in Maori. We will visit both.

The mysterious dark coloured dune was formed by sand blown inland from the coast (which is less than 2 miles away). It’s quite peculiar to find a dune in the middle of lush bush, but locals have found a good use for it – body boarding! We limited ourselves to simply crossing the dune on the way to the lake. It was a warm day and the sand was pretty hot. Definitely too hot to face it while body boarding!

Wind trails. The gusts must be pretty strong there!

The sand was hot!

The freshwater lake is picturesquely located in between hills and has a trail going around it – a great idea for an afternoon walk.

More opportunity to see native bush.

A view of the lake and the dune.

So hot you had to run and jump and run and jump! 🙂

Let’s check out the nearby coast where the dune sand was blown from – it’s only a half an hour walk from the lake.

Turns out it’s a good spot for surfers and surfers-to-be!

A huge, fairly empty beach welcomed us. I was surprised not too many Aucklanders visited this absolute wonder. Was the sea too cold? To be honest it was mid Spring so perhaps not the high season for the beach goers. All the better!

Only for the brave, or the kids! I absolutely love the wet dark sand reflecting the skies and that little island ahead. Wow!

Are you sure it’s not gold?

Steep green hills falling right into the sea. Someone could mistaken this for Hawaii!

Looking back at the place and the pictures I do regret not jumping in. It feels so inviting.

Time to go back to the city.

Auckland’s skyline behind the hills.

Downtown Auckland.

What is a better place to quickly see the city if not from an observation desk? Sky Tower, show me the city!

But before show me some Brazilian culture 🙂

Auckland city is built on a volcanic field with 50 volcanoes around . If you see a hill or an island below that looks like a volcano, then it probably is!

You can clearly see how the business district is bigger than the one in Wellington. And it’s growing rapidly as well.

Don’t look down!

Hey Air New Zealand, take me to South Island!

I got the looks!

Thanks for stopping by!


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