This made making breakfast and feeding the children a great experience. We had a feast. And then we made our lunches, jumped in the cars and drove down to the wharf.
We took the ferry from the Whitianga Wharf over to Ferry Landing. As you can see from the photo above, the harbour water was very brown. This was from the extraordinarly heavy rain the day and night before, washing mud, dirt and debrie down the hills, into the streams, rivers, harbours and out into the bay.
|The view back over Whitianga from the path up to Whitianga Rock. That big block of buildings is opposite the Whitianga Hotel (to the left) and contains Dinos Pizza and Pasta Restaurant.|
Then we walked up to Whitianga Rock, where once a fortified pa (Maori village that was used under attack) once stood. The path was slippery after the rain and does need some maintainence.
We then walked down to Back Bay (not a bad track), where I made a stupid decision to walk up and over to Front Beach. Not a good idea. The track from Back Bay up to the top where there is an excellent lookout is hideous!!!! It is poorly marked and maintained, and after the rain from the previous days, was down right dangerous. That and the fact the teacher was far too unfit and nearly died from loss of breath!!!! (Yep, that was me!!) It was also a bit of a mistake because it took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I had planned to do the walk several weeks before to confirm timings... but it rained the day I was to do that. Oooops.
After a brief morning tea stop, it was pretty much downhill on a well maintained track/stairs to the road at Front Beach. Then we walked over to Flaxmill Bay where some indulged in a toilet stop, before we began the ascent to Shakespeare Cliff.
There is more than one way to get to the top of Shakespeare Cliff, and to go up we took the path on the edge of the cliff.... it's mostly stairs. Great for the butt and thighs. We got to the top to take in the view and have our lunch and fill out the relevant page in our camp books.
And then we came back down, made our way back to Ferry Landing (via the shop for an ice block) and onto the ferry.
On the otherside, after more toilet stops, we went into the Mercury Bay Museum, housed in what used to be the dairy factory in times long gone.