Auckland Baptist Tramping Club
(unofficial trip)

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Waitangi Day comes at about the hottest time of the summer, and being one of the two public holidays in the year that have to be observed on the actual date, made an excellent opportunity for a laid-back picnic day. Lin and Paul came up with the idea of an unofficial Club trip to Tawhitikino Beach just ten days before while on the Pureora tramp, and it was publicised on the Club email list and by word-of-mouth.

Because the tide was at 3:30pm, it was decided to have it as an afternoon-early evening trip rather than a normal day trip. Four of us met at The Bracken at 12:15pm and drove to the roadend beyond the east end of Kawakawa Bay to meet up with quite a number of other people including Club members and some people who had never been along before on a Club trip.

We set out along the rocky coast to the next cove (the gravel driveway past the roadend led to the entrance of a farm marked by a gate complete with barbed wire and Keep out signs), wading up to knee deep in places in the incoming tide while carrying various items not normally suited to a tramping trip, including a picnic basket, a beach umbrella and a small suitcase-style box containing boules (pentanque balls) that were probably made of lead.

Halfway along the next beach we took a track that climbed through native bush and over to drop down to Tawhitikino Beach, about half an hour walk from the car park. It was a lovely sheltered beach and great for a picnic on a hot sunny afternoon.

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Some of us did a walk to the far end of the long beach while others slept or read the paper. The pentanque set was brought out for a few games on the beach, which several of us joined in. At high tide the calm water made for a lovely swim.

From the beach we could look out across to the Coromandel Peninsula and memories of the trip last year to Moehau and Castle Rock, and to Ponui Island - a look through binoculars brought back memories of Crusader Camps with hikes to Third Bay, Mine Gully and the trig.

We had a picnic tea about 5:30pm, by which time the tide was well on its way out. When we left about 6pm to go back to the carpark, we did not have to wade through any water on the way.

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COST: $6