Auckland – West                          Mainly West of Queen Street – seen through my lens

October 27, 2010

Mercer Bay Loop Track

Filed under: Karekare,Piha,Waitakere Ranges — paul @ 7:07 am
Looking North

Looking North

We took advantage of the fine weather on Saturday and walked the Mercer Bay Loop Track, a beautiful walk of about one hour, halfway between Piha and Karekare. The highest cliffs of the Waitakere ranges are found here, and the breaking waves far below the viewing platform provide a spectacle for eyes and ears. The picture above shows the steep cliff face of more than 200 metres. Looking south, the eye skims the ridges, with the massive expanse of the Whatipu sands appearing in the distance on the right. Part of the loop is incorporated in the Hillary Trail.

Looking South

Looking South

May 11, 2015

Looking Down

Filed under: Piha — paul @ 7:03 am
Tasman Sea Meets Waitakere Ranges

Tasman Sea Meets Waitakere Ranges

Te Ahua Point is about 200 metres above sea level, on the Mercer Bay Loop Walk. Here we look straight down as the waves crash into the cliffs below.

The Mercer Bay Loop Walk featured on these pages before.

January 19, 2014

West Coast

Filed under: Piha,Waitakere Ranges — paul @ 7:08 am
Auckland's West Coast

Auckland’s West Coast

Looking North from near the top of the Mercer Bay Loop walk: North Piha and beyond.

January 6, 2014

On the Hillary Trail

Filed under: Flowers,Piha — paul @ 7:22 am
Phormium Tenax

Phormium Tenax

Walking the Mercer Bay loop walk (part of the Hillary Trail) in fine weather, the flax was in full bloom. Here a curtain through which to view the sands of Whatipu.

August 1, 2011

West Coast

Filed under: Clouds,Karekare,Piha,Theme Day — paul @ 7:09 am
Looking South on the Mercer Bay Loop Track

Looking South on the Mercer Bay Loop Track

The City Daily Photo community‘s theme for August is “postcard-worthy”. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

The Mercer Bay Loop Track has featured here before. It must be one of the most awe inspiring walks in the Waitakere Ranges, especially on a fine day like this, with or without massive clouds. I don’t know if this would sell as a postcard, but I would be happy to post it (can one still send postcards?), as it encapsulates much of what I enjoy about our West Coast in Auckland.

June 28, 2011

Midwinter Beach Party

Filed under: Piha,Seasons — paul @ 7:11 am
South Piha

South Piha

When I walked the Mercer Bay Loop the other day, I also went down to Piha. These people came just at the right time to provide a colourful foreground on the otherwise deserted beach. Must have been the filming of a commercial or some such.

Straight ahead is Camel Rock (Taitomo Island).

June 27, 2011

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

Filed under: Art,Piha,pou — paul @ 6:49 am
Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

This pou depicts Hinerangi gazing out over the sea, mourning her husband who had been taken by the waves while fishing the treacherous waters of the Tasman Sea. The carving is by Sunnah Thompson of Te Kawerau a Maki, recently unveiled (April 21, 2011). The full text of the interpretive signage is reproduced at the end of the post. Below is an image of the magnificent context of Te Ahua Point at Mercer Bay; with a bit of imagination one can discern the statue as a tiny mark just left of centre.

Looking South from Mercer Bay Loop Track

Looking South from Mercer Bay Loop Track

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

Pou Whenua: Hinerangi

From the interpretive plaque:

This carved pou symbolises the manawhenua, or spiritual guardianship of Te Kawerau a Maki, the local Tangata Whenua. It also recognises that this is a special place, one of the oldest settled parts of the Waitakere Ranges.

This Pou specifically relates to an early Tupuna, Hinerangi, a chiefly young Ngaoho woman named in honour of a renowned Turehu ancestress.

Because of her beauty, skill and descent, many young rangatira sought her as a partner. Eventually Hinerangi chose a young chieftain from Karekare and settled there in his village and lived happily until an aitua or tragic accident.

At the southern end of Te Unuhanga o Rangitoto or Mercer Bay was a famed fishing spot known as Te Kawa Rimurapa (reef of the bull kelp). One day Hinerangi’s husband and two others went fishing there and were overwhelmed by a large wave and tragically drowned.

Distraught, Hinerangi climbed to this headland and scanned the seas of Waikarekare, longing for her husbands return. Inconsolable Hinerangi sat on this headland for days until she too died of a broken heart and set off along Te Rerenga Wairua (journey of the spirits) to join her beloved.

Her disconsolate face was forever etched into the rock face of the headland on which she sat. It became known as Te Ahua o Hinerangi (the likeness of Hinerangi) and can still be seen today from the cliffs high above the southern end of Te Unuhanga o Rangitoto (Mercer Bay).

May 13, 2011

Clouds over the Waitakeres

Filed under: Clouds,Sky — paul @ 7:11 am
Clouds over the Waitakeres

Clouds over the Waitakeres

Looking towards east from the Mercer Bay Loop Walk.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

April 7, 2011

At the Edge

Filed under: Karekare,Piha — paul @ 6:59 am
Mercer Bay Loop Track

Mercer Bay Loop Track

The highest cliffs (of up to 200 metres) of the Waitakere ranges are between Piha and Karekare near Mercer Bay. The Hillary Trail takes in part of the Mercer Bay Loop Track from which these pictures were taken. Above one sees the viewing platform, marked by a few people, and below is a photo from a little further North, showing the coastline to the South, with the Whatipu sands in the distance.

Cliffs South of Piha

Cliffs South of Piha

October 28, 2010

Manuka Shrub

Filed under: Flowers,Karekare,Piha,Waitakere Ranges — paul @ 7:01 am
Manuka Shrub at Top of Mercer Bay

Manuka Shrub at Top of Mercer Bay

On the Mercer Bay Loop Track we encountered this manuka shrub (leptospermum scoparium) covered in blossom. The heights above Mercer Bay are totally exposed to the weather from the west, so upright growth is not an option. But the adversity of the environment was no impediment to a profusion of flowers.

Manuka Blossom

Manuka Blossom

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