Located a 1.5 hour drive away from Auckland Central is the Manukau Heads Lighthouse, a mini version of the Cape Reinga Lighthouse up north. The drive is scenic and calming as you drink in the views of the sprawling, rolling hills and swirl through the mountains, climbing higher and higher. If you’re a curious and slightly morbid mouse, you might peer down at the deep crater-like mountains and muse over how far you’d tumble down if you happened slip accidentally but I can already sense people giving me the you’re-worrying-me-and-I-think-I-should-call-the-mental-hospital look so I will halt that train of thought before I actually do end up in there.
The weather was gorgeous that day; the sun was shining radiantly and the skies the most beautiful shade of azure blue with lashings of cotton ball fluffs of cloud. The way to the light house is pretty straightforward and minimal walking is required to reach it. If you’re able to, I would recommend coming here and sunrise or sunset as I can just imagine the brilliant splashes of colour from the rising/ setting sun in the background like an impressionist painting by Monet in stark contrast to the pure white monument of the light house.
There’s a small donation box inside which grants you access into the miniature light house. A flight of stairs later and you’re granted with brilliant views of the glittering sea (and plagued with a small group of giant flies buzzing around unfortunately).
The car park is not all the way down that trail, in fact it’s a hidden right turn through one of those bushes but you can fool everyone into thinking that you conquered a massive bush walk if you wish to ;)
Afterward, we decided to head to Awhitu Regional Park for a mini picnic snack stop over. My tips to make that picnic snack simple and easy would be to pack a bottle of sparkling water (small change, it makes all the difference!), vegetable sticks, cheerio sausages, hummus, cheese, crackers, fresh berries such as strawberries or blueberries, and mixed nuts. A little effort goes a long way.
We also went for a walk along the beach after and I advise you not to attempt any shortcuts if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain. Despite knowing that I have a terrible sense of direction, the temptation was too great and it seemed like a pretty straightforward route to take us back to the beginning.
Alas of course, it didn’t. Naturally we decided to attempt another shortcut to take us out of our fail shortcut which resulted in another disaster aaaaand thus, our lesson was learnt. Stick to the original path guys, and you’ll get home in one piece faster.
P.S. Not sure if you have noticed but I have been interchanging my WordPress theme lately as I can’t decide on which one I prefer! For now, I’ve reverted back to my original one as I love the huge photo sizes but I’m not sure how easy it is for new readers to navigate the home page…