M.A.D. Mondays #4 – Awhitu Adventures
The far flung reaches of Auckland…
Back in 2012, I was working in the corporate world, when I came up with the idea of the Head2Head Walk. This was a fundraising walk which went around all the way Manukau Harbour, Auckland. Since its inception, it has gone on to raise over $50,000. Creating this event was my first reason for heading out the Awhitu Peninsula, a relatively unknown part of Auckland. Over the years I have become a big fan of this part of the world, so it was great to finally explore it with Taylor. This was our 4th M.A.D. Mondays and so it was nice to do something a little bit special.
To travel from Manukau to the top of the Awhitu Peninsula, it takes around an hour and thirty minutes. Keeping a two-year-old entertained for this length of time in a car is never easy, especially when said toddler is due for a nap. That’s why I’m thankful that Anj picked up the Mom’s Besty(™) Back Seat Organiser, whilst we were in the States earlier this year. Now I know some experts will say that kids shouldn’t have iPads in the car, but given a choice of screaming toddler or entertaining our kid with an educational program, I’ll take the latter. The Netflix show of choice at the moment is Tree Fu Tom, which I’ll be writing about later this week.
The Manukau Heads Lighthouse
It’s quite the ride out to one of New Zealands best lighthouses, the Manukau Heads Lighthouse. Tight winding roads lead up to the very top of the Manukau Heads, which provide awesome views across the harbour to the city. Once we arrived at the base of the lighthouse, Taylor was very excited to see fields full of cows. As bold as you like, the little man ran over to the fence to say hello to the cows. For a two-year-old he isn’t phased by cows eating out of his hands, proud dad moment and best M.A.D. Monday yet.
Despite a lack of sleep, our weary toddler still managed to climb the hundred odd steps to reach the lighthouse. This was his first visit to a lighthouse and he loved it. Entering this life-saving structure, he took great delight in climbing more stairs and running around the light. A hobbit size door led to the outdoor viewing platform, just the right size for our delighted little fella. Usain Bolt would have been impressed with how quick Taylor run the circuit around the top of the platform, with only the wind slowing him down.
Alas, the day finally caught up with Master Dickson. With one last run up to another viewing platform and a quick wave to Australia across the Tasman, we headed back to the car. We had barely finished our sandwiches and headed off to our next stop before snores came from the back seat. He would sleep all the way home, but his parents had one last stop. Just around the shoreline from the lighthouse is Orua Bay. This is the starting point for the OKE Head2Head Walk. Straight across the harbour from here, just a few kilometres, you can find the finish line in Huia. Alas, if you don’t have a boat, you have to go the long way round, which is one hundred and twenty-five kilometres! In November the amazing folk taking part in the walk will cover this distance, pretty impressive eh?