By: Blonde Two

Today saw the first of hopefully many New Zealand Blonde Bimbles.  Norm took Tasman the dog down to a beach called Kariotahe (carry-oh-ta-hee).  Kariotahe is a long wide black sand beach which has plenty of surf on a windy day.  Today, it was quite crowded with at least six people and two dogs.

Beach Waiuku

The black sand is odd to start with – but you get used to it and it is fascinating stuff. Many of the West coast beaches in the Auckland area have it.  The black comes from the high iron content which has been deposited from old volcanoes around the North Island and carried up the coast by longshore drift.  (Do I sound too much like a geography teacher?)  The exciting thing about the black sand in this area is that ore is extracted from it at the steel mill in Waiuku (why-oo-coo).  On our beach bimble today, we found this rather sad looking vehicle which was in the process of putting some of that iron back into the black sand beach – the ultimate in recycling!

Dead Car

There are occasionally shark attacks in New Zealand and today we saw evidence of the existence of some (very little) ones.  They were sadly not alive but the gulls that were feeding on them definitely were.  We also met two ingenious Kiwi’s (the people not the birds) using a kite to carry their 1km fishing line out to sea.  We had a natter and walked on for a bit, by the time we came back they had caught this Red Snapper which was about a foot and a half long and looked like it would make a fair few fish fingers.

Red SnapperShark Beach

At one point, we found some caves which looked great to explore until I spotted the crabs hiding in the crevices.  I don’t usually mind crabs but these were definitely looking at me and had mischief in their eyes.  I stayed on the outside of the caves after that but did get to know some rather pretty anemones.

Hiding Crabs 1Anemones

For a shortish 3km Blonde Bimble, I have to to New Zealand 10 out of 10 for beauty and excitement so far.  But then, I knew it was going to be that way … that’s why I keep coming back!