Saturday, 16 June 2012

North Shore beaches

I'm in Auckland for the week and weekend.  It always feels a bit different from the rest of New Zealand.
The low cone of Rangitoto Island, Auckland's youngest of many volcanoes, dominates the harbour entrance.
I was hoping for a botanical walk today along some of the beaches on Auckland's North Shore, but although it's a nice place to walk, the plant life we encountered was uninspiring.  The place is just too kempt.  The scenery was pretty though:
The beach at Campbell's Bay
Some of the interesting plants were in private gardens, like this pukanui, Meryta sinclairii.  It's native to the Three Kings Islands, in the far north of New Zealand, but often cultivated.

These flowers were being mobbed by introduced honey bees.

The cliffs are fringed with pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), arguably our most beautiful flowering tree (family Myrtaceae).
Metrosideros excelsa, near Campbell's Bay (Karly Garnock-Jones, photo)
On the cliffs an introduced African daisy Osteospermum ecklonis was occasionally naturalised.

We followed the cliff tops for a way to avoid the rising tide, and stopped for lunch at this view of the Hauraki Gulf:

Lunch was the best part: cold roast beef sandwiches, on Turkish wholemeal & walnut bread, Zerrin Gunaydin's delicious recipe.  You should check out her foodie blog.

It was a nice day out, not very botanical, but a very pleasant walk.  It got a bit cold around the middle of the day, but then the sun came out again.

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