|The Lagoon as you enter the Regional Park|
Tawharanui - loosely translated to 'abundant resources', is a stunning area North of Auckland, just around the corner from Matakana. A short drive from Auckland, around an hour or so, will see you in one of the most stunning best kept secrets of wider Auckland, and what can only be described as a beautiful paradise. White sand beaches, a pristine wild life sanctuary, and fabulous walking tracks await you. Swim, snorkel, surf or just admire the scenery - the choice is yours. Only in NZ would you find a road to that appears to be heading to nowhere, that ends with a packed carpark. Walk a few minutes and you will be greeted with a stunning vista.
NB: This is mostly a pictorial blog post - the day we visited was a hot, humid northern day, so please don't let the overcast skies lull you into thinking it was miserable - on the contrary, whilst the pictures do not do the area justice, the cloudy skies afforded us some respite from the searing heat of our summer sun! For which we were actually quite grateful.
When you arrive at the entrance to the park, you drive into Jones Bay. A stoney beach area which is popular with kayakers and fishermen.
Tawharanui Regional Park
When you carry on past Jones Bay, you Enter the Regional Park. Electronic predator gates greet you, and warnings to leave dogs and other pets behind you (they are not even allowed to travel in the car) remind you that this is a wildlife sanctuary.
First up is the lagoon, and many Pukeko (swamp hens) greet you, ambling carelessly across the road at random. Your ears are pleasantly assaulted with the sounds of the native birdlife.
When you arrive at the vast carpark, your first stop is Anchor Bay. It is the most popular of the beaches. If you walk a further 10 minutes you can reach a more secluded beach, but on this occasion we stuck to Anchor Bay. White sands, great for swimming, snorkelling and surfing, it is a fabulous family spot. While we were there, we saw a number of baby seagull chicks who seemed to have taken over the Endangered Dotterel site. A little shore bird, the dotterl is only found in NZ. Whist on this occasion we didn't see them, there were plenty of cute little baby chicks.
Find out more here: wiki/Tawharanui_Peninsula
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