With summer finally shedding its heat on Auckland on Friday, what better than to get out and take advantage?
For some time the Okura walk off East Coast Bays Road between Long Bay and Silverdale has been a McConnell target and today was the day.
It was well worth it. What was truly impressive was the obvious care with which Auckland's City Council staff are attempting to stem the Kauri dieback disease and also the pest control through the walk.
The value in that was especially appreciated when walking on elevated duckboards through a section of the track which could best be described as 'Kauri Avenue'. It demonstrated the delicate environment in which these magnificent trees are flourishing, even in their relative youth, and by which they still manage to impress with their rigid growth to poke above the bush canopy.
Long may it continue and here's hoping all visitors perform the necessary shoewash before and after their walks, at the facility provided.
At low tide the end result is the chance to walk along the floor of the estuary taking in the brilliant birdlife and what is left of the Pohutukawa show, New Zealand's colourful Christmas tree.
A slip just before the estuary exit has prevented the track continuing through the bush, but the estuary walk is compensation enough and at its end, before heading sideways around the waterfront towards Stillwater and the exit to the track, there is a magnificent vista of the Hauraki Gulf looking along the Whangaparoa Peninsula with Great Barrier Island standing guard in the distance.
As for us we turned around and went back whence we had come thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the track in reverse mode.
And all within 10 minutes drive from home. Auckland continues to surprise. And if the weather continues its belated arrival for the holidays, who knows what might be next?