Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted August 2005, Crown Copyright Reserved  

This trip was to have been to South Kaipara Head, but because there was hunting going on we had to change it, and it was decided to visit the central Kaipara Harbour for a walk over Manukapua Island. This island is made entirely of sand dunes, with patches of bush and other vegetation, and faces the entrance of Kaipara Harbour and is accessible by foot at all stages of the tide. 23 people came along.

One car load left The Bracken soon after 8am and met up with most of the others at the Caltex petrol station and carpark in Wellsford. A fifth car load joined us on Wharehine Rd as carried on out to the Tapora flats on the central Kaipara Harbour. We were able to drive our cars just over halfway down the access track from Okahukura Rd to the foreshore. After our usual intros and prayer we set out about 10:45am.

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The tide was right in as we waded up to knee-deep across to Manukapua Island.
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We left the main vehicle track across the island to cross the dunes in a southward direction.
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Our elevenses stop was when we came to the beach on the ocean side of the island.
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We carried on northwards along the beach, and stopped for lunch shortly after midday near the northern end of the island.
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Paul shared with us the day’s devotions from The Word For Today (published by Rhema Broadcasting Group Incorporated - you can obtain a free copy of this devotional from RBG New Zealand), which contained three lessons from the life of Moses - (1) It's always hard to leave your safe zone. Moses didn't want to leave the comforts of Pharaoh's palace, or the security of his new family in Midian. Yet if he hadn't, he'd have failed to fulfil God's call upon his life. Big assignments call for big sacrifices. Just because you don't feel like doing something doesn't mean you shouldn't! (2) Real growth begins when you leave your safe zone. For 40 years Moses benefited from everything Egypt had to offer. But only after he left Egypt the first time did he begin to learn what was really important: God's purposes. And it took another 40 years in the desert to discover how God intended to use him. By then he'd been humbled and re-made by God. If you want to grow, you have to go! (3) The safe-zone will rob you of your greatest moments and memories. Many people are so afraid of risk that they spend their lives in Egypt, the land of "not enough." A few are willing to get out of their safe-zone and as a result they enter the desert, the land of "just enough." But God wants more for you. He wants you to leave the wilderness and enter the Promised Land, the land of "more than enough." Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed over the risks you didn't take, than the ones you did. But you can pre-empt tomorrow's regret by moving forward today and getting into the "faith zone." As an illustration Paul took his present situation of being called to, and preparing for married life.

Back on our feet again, we began to climb up to the broad ridge of bare sand dunes, from where we had panoramic views all around.

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We swung southwards as we carried on along the dunes, with one or two interesting highlights on the way.
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Our early afternoon tea stop was a little further on, where we could look down to the Kaipara harbour entrance.

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As there was dense bush ahead, we retraced our footsteps a little before dropping down to the inland coast of the island, a short scramble through cutty-grass bringing us to the soggy foreshore.
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We followed this back before wading back, ankle-deep this time, to the mainland.
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We were out by 2:30pm to the welcoming sound of bulldozers ripping down an old pine forest.
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Back in the cars, seat belts on, we went on to Geratic Park on Birds Beach at the north end of the Tapora flats. Over the past ten years or so the locals in this tiny settlement have made a park of sculptures using all sorts of junk.
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More garden art could be seen outside these people’s homes.
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By now it was time to head homewards. Two car loads from west Auckland went straight back via SH16 and Helensville; the rest of us stopped for our customary latteing at a bar in Warkworth to finish off a wonderful day in nice weather.
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COST: $17