Onetangi │Te Ara Hura Track
Onetangi Beach is a 1.87 kilometer long, north-facing beach lining Onetangi. For many years it has been the site of the Onetangi Beach Races. It is said to be the most beautiful beach in the Auckland region. Onetangi translates from Te Res Mãori metaphorically, as “weeping sands”. This refers to the sighing sounds of waves on the beach, which were reminder of the tearful farewell when Mãori ancestors left Hawai’iki. The Hauraki Gulf was named Tikapa Moana, the sobbing sea, for the same reason.
At its western end, often inaccessible at high tide, is a nudest beach. I am not sure if it is an official nudist beach, but we heard that clothes are “optional”. Onetangi Beach has sandcastle building contests annually; participants have a few hours to build their creations in soft sand that is free of shells and suitable for digging.
We found ourselves in the Onetangi Region of Waiheke Island after catching a local bus from the a beer and wine tasting at Wild on Waiheke. The clouds were getting darker and darker, but did appreciate the dramatic affect that they created over the ocean.
We found this sign at the bus stop.
“Walk Waiheke: Onetangi – Welcome to Onetangi, the longest beach on Waiheke. You’re on the northern coast of the Forest Heart of the Walk Waiheke network. From here you can either enjoy this splendid beach – or transverse the island’s green center, linking to walks across the island”
Oh man! I just love New Zealand… so many walks, nature trails, and plenty of encouragement to get out there and explore! From the “You are Here” spot on the map above, we followed the red walking trail which led in-land, and towards a few wine farms. This trail is known as the Te Ara Hura Track. Our goal was to find Casita Miro, a wine farm on a hill, with Spanish tapa and wine tastings outside on the lawn.
The residential area along Onetangi Beach was simple, pretty flat, and really quiet. Then again, all of New Zealand was quiet. We had, however, only JUST begun our road trip, so it would be a while until we discovered that this was not “quiet” but merely normal for New Zealand.
Above, In the distance you can see Justin. He’s always a bit ahead of me because I stop to take a bazillion pictures (yup, that’s a word I’m using). If Justin stopped every time that I did, we would NEVER GET ANYWHERE!
After a little bit of time walking along the coast, we followed the Te Ara Hura Track towards the wine farms. The trail led up some steep narrow wooden stairs that cut a huge section of walking off from the path. The stairs were not wide enough for us to walk side by side, carrying the stroller, and we didn’t feel like carrying the front and back. Laziness, or just not bothered, I’m not sure… perhaps we just didn’t want to wake our sleeping boy. Instead, we took the long way up, strolling along the beautiful houses that overlook the coastline.
The higher we got, the better the view got!
Can you see Justin?
Seriously, THAT is how far behind I get!!! Sometimes pushing the stroller up a hill is quite challenging, so Justin will keep going and going, trying to keep up his momentum. He then finds a bench at the top of the hill, and waits for me. As you can tell, I’m not only referring to this walk. This happens a lot. It’s just one of our things.
There he is, patiently waiting for his picture-obsessed wife to catch up. We had my scarf wrapped around the stroller so that Eli’s “little nest” stayed dark, warm and cozy. I definitely need to do a “what to pack” post soon. This was my only scarf for this trip, and I chose it based on it’s fabric, texture and color. I knew that it would need to double up for a variety of uses. All thought out… I’m telling you!
On our way back down this path, after visiting Casita Miro, I took the narrow wooden stairs that I mentioned earlier. I thought that I might found some cool photo opportunities, but there wasn’t much to look at. Amazingly enough, I still managed to only get to the lower street at the same time as Justin and Eli. They talk about toddlers taking their time – I get lost in my thoughts, the flowers, the views, and picture-taking.
When we got back down to the beach, we waited for the next bus to arrived, and then caught it all the way back to the ferry. It had been a wonderful day on Waiheke Island – despite the unplanned, ridiculously long “10 minutes walk” – but it felt like it was going to start raining soon, and we wanted to get back to mainland Auckland. Our car was waiting, and we were ready to hit the road!
Up next we will show you the beautiful Casita Miro Wine Farm!