This is the seventeenth in my series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, which I visited in November 2019. Today is the first of my posts on New Zealand’s North Island.
We flew into Auckland from Brisbane, and our first experience of the spectacular scenery was in West Auckland. Driving along the narrow, winding Piha Road, I was particularly struck by the rich, vibrant forests rising up high on either side of us, in which we identified giant tree ferns, casuarina, honeysuckle, callistemon and pandanus. The intense green reminded me of the paintings of Gaugin in Tahiti.
In fact, it’s hard to go to any spectacular New Zealand location that hasn’t already featured in a major film. Later on our trip we were to visit the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata that was used for The Lord of the Rings films, and the sublime Cathedral Cove which featured in the opening scene of Prince Caspian.
The west coast of Auckland we also found to be a glorious setting, as we walked along the black sand track that leads to the beach, past rich flora and greenery.
Signs warned visitors of dangerous rip currents and advised swimmers only to use the area between the flags, when the lifesavers from the Karekare Surf Club were on duty.
Karekare Beach itself is awe-inspiring, despite the fact that, as you can see, the weather for us was rather more moody than when the film camera crew were here.
SC Skillman, psychological, suspense, paranormal fiction & non-fiction. My next book, Paranormal Warwickshire, will be published by Amberley Publishing on 15th June 2020 and is available to pre-order now either online, or from the publisher’s website, or from your local bookshop.