Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Auckland to Kaiaua

Setting out after the main thrust of the morning traffic had abated, I headed to Otara to take the route through to Whitford, onto Maraetai, Clevedon, Kawakawa Bay, Kaiaua, through Miranda to Waitakaruru. The first problem was road works in Otara / East Tamaki, but I kept heading east towards Whitford and finally made it through suburbia major to the rolling farmland of Whitford. The day was beautiful for riding, the roads dry, and the traffic was light - conditions were perfect - yes it was business time!.

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The extra part of the normal Kaiaua trip was going through Maraetai. That was a very good decision, and I recommend it - especially if you are showing visiting friends/family around.

Maraetai looking towards Ponui Island and the Coromandel ranges.

When I was young (last century) my family would often go to Maraetai for weekend outings to the beach. I'd forgotten how wonderful it is around this part of the coast.

I continued through Clevedon (without stopping for a coffee) and headed for that wonderful winding road between Kawakawa Bay and what we called Colonel Adams (supposedly after someone who lived there - actual name Matingarahi). The corners are a bit tight at times for the cruiser foot-boards, and there is one corner that has a decreasing radius. Luckily its a slow corner, but being a left-hander it can leave you in the wrong lane of a blind corner - not a healthy place to be.

The view of the Firth of Thames, complete with toetoe (on the bank on the right).

The road from there winds along the Kaiaua coast, passed the Best Fish and Chip shop in the world. No I didn't, but I was tempted! Miranda is the last stage of this particular ride, and is where you open up the throttle and wizz by the beautiful tidal areas of wading birds - including godwits that have just arrived from Alaska. See this article To Alaska and back - the epic, record-breaking trip of Thames bird.

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