I had been planning on looking into what they do here in regards to ceremonies and such. I figured at the very earliest it would be a late-morning thing. Should have done a bit more research, because the big ceremony turned out to be the Dawn Service at 6 am. Fail.
So, Marjo and I drove out to the Tawharanui Peninsula for a late morning trail run (my fur buddy had to stay home – no dogs allowed in Tawharanui National Park!). The initial plan was a morning of surfing, but we found out that everything was closed until 1:00 pm. So, no surf board rentals. But no disappointment though either. Surfing on a beautiful beach or running around a picturesque national reserve? I’m always game for either, so we worked with we had we had.
It was a bright, sunny day and quite a few people were gravitating to the park – apparently the campsites there are some of the best to be had (I’m going to have to go back to test that theory), the surf was great (for those who actually had surfboards!) and there was no shortage of perfect picnic spots to lay claim too (I would hope not, considering the park is 588 hectares).
It didn’t take long for us to break away from the more populated areas. We just charged our way up a dirt path through farmland to get up to the ridge that provided a panorama view of the rolling green hills and white sand beaches and a vast expanse of ocean. We trotted along tree-lined trails where the branches formed a canopy over our heads. We stopped at a cliff’s edge to take photos of the outcroppings of rocks and the crystal clear water below us, as well as Great Barrier Island visible in the distance. It was breathtaking! (Both in the visual sense and because running up those hills was a little strenuous.)
There were many trails to choose from – meaning I could head out there time and time again and not get bored of running the same loop. The only con is that it takes about an hour to drive out there, so it’s more of a weekend destination. But I’m slowly creeping my way up further north into new territory. I can’t wait to have a vehicle to call my very own! So much ground to cover in this incredible country…