Monday, 20 January 2020

Week 3 and we're going 'off the beaten track'

I love exploring.
And I especially love finding new places to ramble.
Despite Auckland being a bustling metropolis we’re blessed to 
have an abundance of green space in and around us.
When considering this week’s challenge I googled where else I could walk in and around the city that 
I hadn’t explored before.  It soon became evident that I walk a lot, and have already explored 
most of the multitude of green space that exists within the circumference of the city that I limit myself to. 
(Fuel costs, time available to walk before work etc.)
So I went back to what’s become one of my favourite haunts since the passing of my Labrador.
She wasn’t allowed in Tahuna Torea as it’s a wildlife reserve.  
Since losing her though, I’ve been able to thoroughly explore and enjoy 
the abundance of trails within the reserve.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining.
 It ticks all the boxes.

An abundance of native bush.
A myriad of bird species.
Fresh and saltwater wetlands.
A sandspit accessible only at low tide.
Certain parts of the beach are also only accessible at low tide unless,
like me, you don’t mind getting your feet wet.
Wet shoes, wet feet, happy heart.
What I particularly love about Tahuna Torea is that it only exists as a reserve due to the efforts of a handful of local residents.  30 odd years ago they founded the Tamaki Estuary Protection Society to prevent the sandspit being turned into a city landfill rubbish site. They’ve worked to restore the area to the natural wetland it once was, and created a wildlife reserve.
It forms part of the Point to Point Walkway so, if you want to extend your walk after exploring all the trails in the reserve, you can continue on to Point England via the Wai-o-taiki nature reserve, or head towards St. Heliers taking in Churchill Park and Glover Park on your way.
It’s rich in Maori history too.  Before European settlement, the spit was valued by local tribes as a vital source of shellfish, fish and birds, and as a strategic stop over for canoes traveling between Manukau and Waitemata Harbours.
I love this little spot.
It’s a tranquil oasis on the edge of a densely built urban and industrial landscape 
but there’s little evidence of human habitation when you walk here.
Spending time here walking, photographing and just ‘watching’ restores balance to a busy world.
 "Happiness lies not in finding what's missing, but in finding what's present." ~ Tara Brach

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