1 August 2015

Travel Contrasts - The East and West Coasts of New Zealand - #travellinkup

We stood, transfixed as the waves tumbled from glass rumbles to lace froth. A lone seagull dipped and wove through eddies of unseen air currents. The sunshine shimmered through breathtaking blue skies. Winter seemed like a distant thought, rather than close on the heels of our New Zealand Autumn.

A day (or 30 hours later to be precise) we landed back in amongst the silver skyscrapers of London.

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

Living in New Zealand, no one is more than 3 hours drive from a beach, and it is one of the things I miss most about living in London. (And having to take wind breaks will always make me giggle, sorry British friends!) We managed to sneak in two beachy visits during our New Zealand whirlwind.



WEST COAST - PIHA BEACH

Coming over the hills of Titirangi, the air was heavy, laden with rain. We couldn't see the expanse of rolling hillsides each time we crested, and our hearts sank. We had half a day to Tourist like we meant it, around Auckland City before boarding the enormous tin can back to the other side of the globe.

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

We had held our breath planning the tour as we rolled over the last rise and watching the weather reports, but fortunately our luck changed after an enormous storm had rolled the length of New Zealand (causing a few shenanigans in Christchurch) it must have cleared the unique weather systems of the coast out...

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

I hadn't visited the strikingly beautiful black volcanic sands of Piha since I was in pigtails, aged approximately 9 & 2/3rds, so a return visit was needed. With a vicious surf swell, Piha holds a challenge for many surfers (in high school I even knew crazy friends who would night surf there - how they made it back to class I'll never know...) and gets rather popular in summer.

Except for a couple walking their pooch, this moment was ours.

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

...then a wee pitstop to look over the Manukau Heads and admire a little local flora...

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

...before stopping for a touch of culture and a much needed flat white.

PIHA BEACH Auckland New Zealand

Only a few days earlier and a few hundred kilometers we had been walking the silver sands of the East Coast near Tauranga and getting in a few Dad hugs. You know, expat style.

EAST COAST - MOUNT MAUNGANUI 
(aka 'The Mount' for all the cool kids)

The Mount is where Aucklanders tend to decamp during the six weeks of Christmas/summer holidays. They gather in cafes, sleep in beautiful bachs (summer homes) and let their kids run amok as all children should.

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Tauranga New Zealand

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Tauranga New Zealand

We drove over just as the afternoon was turning a little windswept and moody, and simply wandered. It was where I spent Christmas Eve, burning to a lovely shade of lobster, and ate pies with glee. This time we went for a naughty soft serve - for no reason other than being at the beach. That's more than enough reason, right?

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Tauranga New Zealand

Simply holiday perfection.

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Tauranga New Zealand

New Zealand, my beautiful island home of contrasts.

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Tauranga New Zealand


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