Auckland Baptist Tramping Club
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A group of 19 people set out from Stillwater at 2:15pm and after 15 minutes we came to a beach. Standing on the sand near the water’s edge at high tide was a flock of godwits. Ted told us about how these birds fly all the way to Siberia and Alaska in March each year, and mentioned an open day at the Miranda Shorebird Centre where visitors could see the birds and learn about the migration.
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From there we walked along to the far end of the beach and over the headland through bush to come out onto the beach at Dacre Cottage. We had thought about having a swim there, but a breeze came up and the tide was on its way out. Instead we walked to the far end of the beach. A long flight of steps took us up to the clifftops overlooking the Okura Estuary. We could look out across to the northern end of Long Bay Regional Park, as well as back over the  private land behind Dacre Cottage.
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We returned to Dacre Cottage for our afternoon tea break at 3:45pm. The tiny historic brick cottage was completely boarded up and locked. A light-hearted proclamation sign on the front door indicated that burglars had completely cleaned the inside of its sparse furnishings.
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The tide had gone out far enough for us to return to Stillwater along the coastline instead of over the headland. This was a straightforward walk to the first beach, and we were back at the cars at 4:45pm having had a lovely afternoon’s walk.
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DISTANCE WALKED:  7.5km
MAXIMUM SPEED: 8.5km/h
AVERAGE SPEED: 4 km/h
COST: $7 travel from The Bracken