Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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A group of 22 people enjoyed a glorious summery day exploring the tracks of Muriwai Regional Park. After the usual intros and karakia we set out at 9:20am on our first of two tramps, the Coast Road Track going alongside the golf course on our left and the now-taboo Woodhill Forest on our right. From there we went along Okiritoto Stream Track and had our morning tea stop at 10:30am.

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Our leader Laurie presented the devotions, saying that spring is a wonderful time of the year with the beautiful greenery, wildflowers, birds making their nests. All this reminds us that there is a loving Heavenly Father God the Creator of heaven and earth. In the beginning He created all that we can see on earth, then He created Adam and Eve. God created them to enjoy our planet, and made a special garden for them, Eden. Can you imaging that garden in springtime, with its fruit, flowers and vegies. Some people say that God doesnít exist, He canít be seen and is not caring. Really God talks to us through nature, and also through His Word the Bible. His creation displays His invisible qualities and eternal power. God loves variety and diversity, He loves what He has created such as the animals and birds. He provides food for these, and also for us. Laurie looked at other pieces of Godís creation such as the hide tide mark on beaches, and spectacular rock formations. As we carry on our walk, look at all what He has made and thank and praise Him. God so loved the world that He sent his Son Jesus Christ so whoever believes in Him shall not perish but live eternally. When we die on earth this is not the finish.
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We carried on out to the beach and walked back along it, seeing lots of people take advantage of the summer weather to go surfing and enjoy the sand and water. This first walk finished at 11:30am, and we had our lunch in a shady spot behind the kids playground. The sparrows came down to enjoy morsels of bread that we threw out to them. Laurie, a retired schoolteacher, led a game where we broke into two teams, and using dice had a race to hang clothes on a clothesline that he had set up, a game that had been played in the schoolyard. Afterwards some of us had a bounce on the mini-tramps and swing the big swing.  
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For our second walk we set out at 12:35pm climbing up heaps of steps to Mitchelson Lookout for a great view over the Muriwai area and coast. From there we went down Quarry Track and Maori Bay Track to the south end of Muriwai Beach, and on up to view the gannet colony. This was an extensive colony, and the birds were everywhere, relaxing on the ground, and flying around. We visited several viewpoints to see these birds, and the smell of the birds was noticeable, but not nearly as bad as the foul odour of the gannets at Cape Kidnappers.  
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As we carried on to drop down to Maori Bay we saw a paraglider take off from just below the carpark and fly around before landing on the beach. We explored a cave at the north end of the beach, some of us waded up to knee height to walk through the whole tunnel. Laurie then showed us some spectacular rock formations in the cliffs overlooking the beach as we carried on to the rocks at the south end of the beach. From there we returned up to the carpark and walked back along the road and Maori Bay Track to finish back at our start point at 3:10pm. Laurie finished our trip with a prayer of thanks, something that not usually happens on our tramps, but nevertheless it is an excellent idea. Some of us visited the cafe afterwards while others went straight home.
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COST: travel from The Bracken $8
Total distance 11km.