Since moving to New Zealand, I have been doing a lot of walking. By a lot, I mean A LOT! Since we don’t have a car, we end up taking public transport and/or walking. Traveling to anywhere includes a combination of decent walks coupled with a ferry and bus. The plus side of this is that I have lost some weight since moving here (woo hoo!) but also have been able to enjoy some of the breath taking views there are around the city.
One of my favorite walks near home is going to a place called North Head. It is what is called a “reserve” here, which in the states it would be called most likely a “park” or “historical site”. Not only is it a spot with beautiful scenery and a nice uphill climb, but it also has a lot of history.
My walk starts out by going along King Edward Parade which follows the water of the Hauraki Gulf with views of Downtown Auckland.
(North Head is in the background)
The clock tower on the way.
I absolutely love the view as the corner is turned and starting to climb up one of the pathways…
This is the view of Rangitoto. Which by the way is the youngest volcano in the Auckland area. In Maori, Rangitoto means “Bloody Sky”.
Then turning another corner and heading back uphill, this is the next view:
Beautiful view of Downtown Auckland. I’m also falling in love with the Norfolk Island Pine (the tall tree on the right) which can be found all over New Zealand (they originate from Norfolk Island).
During one walk, we saw some pretty cool animals. Like this hedgehodge. Poor thing was curled up in the middle of the trail and so many people were walking around that it wouldn’t uncurl to scamper off. One gal luckily had some gloves and was brave enough to pick it up and move it off in to the bush so hopefully it wouldn’t get stepped on.
Then we also had this cute cat that we happened across. It seemed to adopt us because every time we turned around it was following us or it would run ahead for a bit and then stop and wait. On one of our “sit and enjoy the view” moments, the cat came up and cuddled up to Nakul. It was a really cute site! We almost finished walking out of the reserve when the cat decided to adopt another couple walking around the reserve. Funny thing was there were a lot of people on the reserve but it was following us. We got asked a few times if it was our cat. How funny!
(following us up the trail)
North Head is also a historic spot when it comes to military history. Dating back to the mid 1800’s until 1990’s. After the 1950’s it was used as training grounds but then was turned in to a historic reserve . More on the history of the reserve see: http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/historic/by-region/auckland/central-and-south-auckland/north-head-historic-reserve/history-of-the-reserve/
Some of the military history on the reserve. We always forget to bring torches (flashlights for my American friends), but there are tunnels all over the reserve that can be explored. Also one thing that I love about sites here is that you can go inside all the different buildings, etc. Which is quite fun!
Me going in to one of the shorter tunnels.
Some more views from North Head: