3 min read

westward to whatipu

westward to whatipu

with a mātariki credit (thanks mevo), and a day off, we hopped on the ferry and headed for the mainland.

destination: whatipu

The name Whatipu is said to be associated with an ancient taniwha, or spiritual guardian, who came from as far away as Tūhua (Mayor Island) in the Bay of Plenty and settled at the mouth of the Manukau Harbour. The small bay north of Paratūtai Island became the meeting place for Whatipu and his fellow taniwha, including Taramainuku, Paikea, Ūreia and Kaiwhare. As a result, this bay also became known as Waitīpua, or the ‘bay of the spiritual guardians’. The small rocky islands that stand off Whatipu are named after the ancestor and taniwha Taramainuku. Together they are known as ‘Te Kupenga ā Taramainuku’, the fishing net of Taramainuku.
Source: Whatipu, our history

it's seven years since we last visited, on a day much sunnier than it was this time around, so it did feel like a visit was well overdue.

crossing the stream at huia on the way out to the beach

we didn't have time for a long walk, so we headed for a quick trot along the beach.

carved pou (posts) guard whatipu and the surrounding areas • on the left, facing out to sea, is Taramainuku, the ancestor and guardian taniwha associated with the manukau harbour entrance • on the right, facing inland, is Tiriwā the ancestor after whom ‘The Great Forest of Tiriwā’ is named
beautiful harakeke (flax) and tī kōuka (cabbage trees) line the pathway to the beach
someone's woven flowers into the flax bushes on the pathway

quickly removing shoes and socks for multiple stream crossings.

te toka tapu ā Kupe (the sacred rock of Kupe // ninepin rock)

the beach stretches away from us farther than my eyes can see. you can walk north all the way to karekare at low tide if you set your mind to it. we were the only ones on the beach today.

the wild waters of the tasman sea
heading back the way we came. Paratūtai island on the right

only out there for an hour and a half—but with nic as my adventure companion (and my very favourite one at that), the wind tangling my hair, the sand blasting my legs and getting stuck in my teeth—the day was a perfect tiny adventure story.

(if you're based in new zealand, and would like to give mevo a try for yourself, sign up using this referral code and you'll get a $50 credit to use on your first trip. they currently have cars based in auckland, hamilton and wellington)