I guess that a little wanderer within me is often too excited to grab any chance that comes across for exploring hidden natural treasures around me.
This long Christmas weekend was a perfect opportunity to go on a long drive with my crazy bunch of friends. And this time, the place was the long-cherished destination – Awhitu Peninsula. The place was at about 90 minutes driving distance from CBD, Auckland.
The highlights of the place are its iconic wooden Manukau Heads Lighthouse tower, sea views, national park, wineries, and the marketplace. The lighthouse gates are open 9 am – 5 pm daily. There is a free car parking outside the gate and from there it’s a walk of about 700 metres that takes you to the tip of the peninsula. The beautiful panoramic view of black sand beaches, farms, and distant Waitakere ranges, Auckland City and harbour looks magnificent.
The first lighthouse of the region was built in 1874 and was refurbished, rebuilt, and relocated. The place has a history of worst maritime disaster – the wreck o HMS Orpheus on February 7, 1863 in which 189 lives were lost.
There is an adjacent Signal-station lookout which gives you a chance to capture scenic views of the place.
Heading back to home, we also visited Awhitu Regional Park which is a popular picnic spot for many. The green pastures on a bright sunny day was an opportunity to soak up the sun – though it lasted for a short while as the clouds came back soon. The short walks around the park and besides sandy beaches were very pleasant.
This getaway is a unique spot with multiple options to explore in and around the area.