Friday, July 25, 2008

4-6 July Wild Weekend Exploring Awhitu Peninsular

Whilst the weather forecast didn’t promise much for the weekend we decided to give it a go anyway. We left late Thursday so as to avoid the protest of trucks planned for Friday morning.The stop that night was at the Clarks Beach Golf Club. A POP with power and a fine $7 each meal of fish and chips. We can certainly recommend this POP. Due to a complaint by the Clarks Beach Motor Camp they’re limited to two vehicles although there’s power for six.It was great to have breakfast down by the beach and to take a stroll afterwards before the weather threatened.The plan was to head from Clarks Beach to Waiuku on our way up Awhitu checking out anything of interest on the way. Waiau Pa was just around the corner from Clarks beach.With the Glenbrook Steel Mill was on the way to Waiuku. Glenbrook Beach was a prior diversion.Awhitu Regional Park. After passing through Pollock that sported an interesting art gallery with any coffee that you wanted - you paid your money, got a paper cup and were given directions on what buttons to press we arrived at the ARC park.Our second night was at the Awhitu Regional Park and yes that's hail on the road.Some nice walks to be had.Especially to the old homestead.That had a truely massive Macrocarpa tree in the grounds.Although our stay was during a time of intense thunder storms and hail like Auckland hasn’t seen for a number of years. It was cold enough for the hail to remain melted well into the day.The next stop was Grahams Beach. Grahams beach faces the inner Manukau Harbour which was somewhat of a relief, getting away from the howling Westerly winds.Grahams Beach POP. Some folks mentioned that they had seen a POP at Grahams Beach. Whilst it’s not in the NZMCA book we decided to investigate. Sure enough here was a shiny POP sign with instructions where to park which we did being as there was no one around or contact details. This was our third and last night.On the way to Hamiltons Gap we passed through Awhitu Central.On our way homewe checked out Hamiltons Gap. A West Coast beach that stood the full force of the Westerly wind.It’s really great to see the great steps forward that Franklin County have taken with regards to self contained vehicles parking over in some places for a couple of nights. Thanks to the NZMCA for their efforts in this area. Time for home again, went via Te Toro reserve (no pic) were overnight camping is permitted. Until next time 18-21 July where we head for Whangaruru North.

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