On one of the last days in New Zealand, D’s family friends took us out on their yacht to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Auckland is nick-named the ‘city of sails’, and rightly so, because there is an enormous number of yachts in the area compared to the size of its population.
To kick things off, the water at the Gulf Harbour Marina is the most gorgeous mix of green/blue –
I’d only been on ferries previously, so a yacht was a new experience. It turns out that the smaller size of a yacht compared to a ferry and rough conditions make me feel sea sick. You learn something new every day! Aside from that, sailing is a million times more complicated than I ever imagined!
After sailing for 90 minutes, we’d reached Tiritiri Matangi Island. We needed to leave the yacht out from the shore, so we had to climb into a tiny dinghy to get to shore. Being someone who likes solid ground, I was very weary of climbing into the dinghy from the yacht in the middle of the ocean. But I stayed dry!
The transparent, crystal blue colour of the water surrounding the island was absolutely breathtaking. It’s the kind of blues you see in travel brochures that you’re never quite sure exists in Real Life. But exist they do. The view is so spectacular whichever way you turn on this island that it’s almost effortless to get beautiful shots.
There’s not much of a sandy beach on this island, though. In place of what’s usually sand are fragments of shells — walking barefoot on the shore is probably not recommended.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is especially noted for its bird life, and as part of a restoration project, nesting shorebirds that are threatened with extinction, such as the kia tupato below, have an area fenced off to avoid visitors disturbing them. Of else, elsewhere, you can also get signs warning you that the birds can also disturb you.
And then there is the sea gull I saw paddling along casually. Probably less relevant to the restoration project?
We explored the south end of the island that day. At the top of the south end is a light house. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open to the public. Next to it is a tower that you can climb up to get panoramic views of the area surrounding the island.
The area surrounding the island is pretty much ocean for as far as the eye can see. There is the odd exception of an island here and there in the distance, though. And so, I leave you with the view towards Rangitoto Island from the walk up to the top of the south end of the island –