Baring Head & Wainuiomata

We had initially set out in search of Pencarrow Head Lighthouse but following some sketchy google maps directions, ended up a little off track. So, perhaps our initial mission had failed but no matter, we thought! It was a beautiful day and we were still at the start of a walking track that looked promising, so off we went! We started walking alongside the Wainuiomata river and through lush meadows, in the shadow of the hillside that we would later climb. 

It was an outrageously beautiful day, the water sparkled in the sunlight and the sky was the deepest shade of blue. As we began to move up the hillside, we were faced with a pretty sketchy loose gravel path, with a very sheer drop down into the river below.  I’d be lying if I said that I was comfortable with it, but I decided to move briskly, eyes fixed firmly on my footing. Quickly, we made it to the sturdy path again and all of a sudden the incline really ramped up.

I won’t give you the “I hate hills” spiel because I’m sure any regular readers are well aware of my distaste and sick to death of my complaining by now! By the time we made it to the top, the sun was really beaming down, to the point where we were even concerned that maybe we should be wearing sun cream. At this point, let me remind you that I’m talking about a winter day here in New Zealand– we were sweating up a storm!

Up at the top was a huge green plain which we had to cross to get closer to the cliff side, for maximum views. Unfortunately, following weeks of crazy rainfall, it was a muddy task. As we tried to step on the higher tufts of grass, Andreas managed to plonk his brand new, crisp red converse right into a muddy puddle, with a great squelching sound and a look of pure horror on his face! As he pretended like he wasn’t freaking about about his ruined shoes, we neared the cliff edge and boy, was the view worth it!

Deciding that we didn’t want to spend the rest of the afternoon tramping through muddy fields, we decided to head back down the hill so that we’d have time to go and check out the beach. I took the opportunity to pose for a cheesy-grin photo in front of the pretty gorse bushes, seeing as though they matched my jumper so perfectly.

By the time we made it back to the car, we were well overdue the picnic lunch that we’d packed. We decided to scoot a couple of minutes down the road to the beach at Wainuiomata so that we could take in the views whilst we snaffled our sandwiches. The sun was low in the sky, as is standard for a winter’s afternoon, and as such a really beautiful haze started to linger over the beach.

We walked towards the ocean, heading directly towards the big-ass rock that you can see protruding into the ocean, in one of the photos above, if you look carefully. On the shoreline, Andreas proceeded to try and push me into the oncoming waves which I… really appreciated…!

The light on the beach was truly stunning as the sun got lower and lower in the sky, turning everything orange as it did so. We took a few moments to perch up on the big ol’ rock whilst the waves crashed around its base and the whole scene really was a feast for the senses.

It was a pretty perfect day, actually. One of my favourites of my trip so far.

With the sun about to set, I decided that we ought to head home. Andreas had promised me Hell Pizza for dinner, which is a New Zealand institution! Oh, and for those of you concerned with his shoes; they scrubbed up perfectly and look good as new!

Bonus: press play..

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