New Zealand 2013/​14 — Orewa

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It’s 2014 and I’m finally back from vis­it­ing D’s rel­at­ives in North Auckland, New Zealand, for 2.5 weeks. For someone who has a small exten­ded fam­ily (I can count all my cous­ins on one hand) and who spends most of her life indoors, it was quite the exper­i­ence. I spent more time in the com­pany of 10 – 11 year old kids than I have since I was one myself, and I spent so much time out­doors that I am tanned and a little sun burnt.

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D’s rel­at­ives lived just 5 minutes from the coast, so it was impossible to leave the house without being greeted with the view of the hori­zon and a pristine beach. I saw oth­er scenery, like rolling hills, but the beaches were most spectacular.

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A couple of days earli­er, D and I had taken a walk down the north­ern two-thirds of the 3km Orewa beach. I don’t vis­it the beach much in Australia, even though UNSW is with­in walk­ing dis­tance of Coogee beach. I have been to a hand­ful of beaches here, though.

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The sky is amaz­ingly blue in Auckland.

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And my lim­ited know­ledge of beaches tells me that it was low tide at the time because the beach was extremely wide.

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This pole con­firms the low tide situation.

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There aren’t too many people there that morn­ing. The beaches in New Zealand are def­in­itely clean­er and less crowded, which is to be expec­ted when the entire pop­u­la­tion of New Zealand can fit in Sydney.

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…except some seagulls are ambling across the sand…

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…and the glossy beach.

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There’s a lonely water­ing can and buck­et in the middle of the beach. Perhaps the own­ers went for a swim?

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Shells are scattered across the sand. Pipis?

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I ima­gine these houses at the top of the cliff have a beau­ti­ful view.

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You nev­er have to worry about low light when tak­ing pho­tos in Auckland. I always remem­ber being blinded by the Australian sun­light at the air­port when I returned to the Sydney sum­mer from winter in the UK. The New Zealand sun­light, how­ever, is blind­ing even for someone accus­tomed to the Australian sunlight.

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Apparently, there’s an ozone hole above New Zealand that might explain things.

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You won­der how people appre­ci­ate beaches if they’ve lived so close to a beach so beau­ti­ful all their life.