All posts tagged: Auckland

Foraging in the Waitakere Rainforest

I’m taking friends out on a guided hike today, they are keen to explore the Waitakere rainforest and I’m keen to show them how bountiful the bush can be if you know what you’re looking for.  We are hiking the Upper Huia Dam Track It’s been raining heavily the last few days, the track is rougher than usual.  We look like ballerina’s leaping through the bush, or maybe we look like monkeys swinging from branches trying not to get our boots stuck in the mud.   Above us we can hear the Tui singing and a Kereru watching us plot our way through the mud.  The Miromiro ahead of us darts back and forward guiding us along the track. It’s an advanced walk, even if you are fit it can still be challenging.  I met two groups of people turning back warning me that the track is too difficult and muddy.  This is true if you are unfamiliar with the Waitakere Ranges, some of these tracks will put many people off.  It’s not a track for …

Tom Thumb Bluffs

Hiking around the Huia Bluffs.

It had rained heavily in the last 3 days making the tracks rough. Fletcher adds a bit more, it climbs up a step spur then onto a ridge following the bluffs to Don McLean Track.  I’m following Fletcher – Karamatura – Tom Thumb Tracks in Huia. The first section is a steep climb, moving quickly towards the ridge.  The rain had washed debris down the hill, completely disguising the track. I followed the markers for a good part of this ascend. Its not a well worn track, maybe in the summer but I’m walking in winter and I don’t expect to see anyone.  I do know that there is one other person is on the track because I could see his tracks (I knew he was male because of his boot size, bush skills I learnt from my father finally come into play).  I did catch up with him later, he’s from the South Island and needed some time out in the bush.  I related to this very well. I reached the ridge and it …

Omanawanui – Gibbons Track – Walker Ridge Tracks

This is one of my favourite loops in the Waitakere Ranges.   Time: The times on the signs would suggest 7hrs.  If you are a faster walker you can do this in 3 – 5 hours of actual walking. Definitely allow more time for stops and time exploring the caves at Whatipu Distance: 14.5km Start & Finish: Mt Donald Mclean Road, Huia – Auckland ViewRanger App Route: http://my.viewranger.com/route/details/NzczNzQ= Auckland city and head for Mt Donald Mclean Road – 50 minute drive. Puriri Ridge Track – 2km.  This is a nice gentle start to an early morning, its mostly along the ridge and downhill. Once at the road cross over and head along Omanawanui Track. Omanawanui Track – 3km.  Walking along the cliffs to see some amazing views of Manukau harbour and Whatipu.  This was probably one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve been on in the Waitakere’s because of the views.  Stunning! Some of it is steep. Manukau Heads Whatipu – Camping Ground.   This has all of the facilities needed and the scenery is magic. Handy to all …

A day with a volcano – Browns Island (Motukorea)

I’m on a boat with world renowned volcanologist, Dr Harry Keys! His sister Margi from Forest and Bird has organised this rare event to Browns Island (Motukorea).  I’ll be walking to the volcano summit and circumnavigate the island with my friend Jessamine and 28 other people.  There are 58 volcanoes in Auckland, all on the one field.  The field is dormant, for now   … this is my first ever Meet Up group!! Many friends questioned my decision to the island, one said it looks like a zit out of water, others said its just a grassy island with a hilly bit.  I would have to agree as I’ve actually been past this island many times on the ferry to Waiheke Island.  More than likely I would have been too busy drinking wines on the deck to notice Browns Island.  But when I saw this event come up on the Auckland Conservation Meetup… the nerd in me leaped out and said ‘do it woman’!! So I did and as we are waiting for our boat, Jessamine said to me “I hope the boat is big”. …

Cacao and Berry Smoothie

This smoothie came about when I was making cacao and pistachio bliss balls.   There is always cacao in my cardboard and berries in the freezer.  Because I don’t eat dairy, almond milk is a must in the fridge at all times. Oh and chia seeds, these tiny little things pack a punch when it comes to sustaining consistent energy.  They should be classed as a super power, maybe they already are!? Cacao and Berry Smoothie – Sugar Free / Dairy Free Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups organic almond milk 1 cup frozen berries 1 banana 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder 1 Tbsp chia seeds Method: Mix it all in a blender and sprinkle with some coconut and nuts  Enjoy! I’m still buzzing from this!