On Wednesday I drove for a couple of hours over to the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, to an area I'd never been before called the Awhitu Peninsula.
It was a cloudy grey day, warm and muggy, but still a great day out!
One reason for going was to visit the lighthouse at Manukau Heads, where the
Manukau Harbour opens into the Tasman Sea. I love lighthouses.
Sadly this one is a replica of the real one, taken from the original drawings and plans.
It's also at a different spot (the old position was too dangerous),
but the bonus is that you can actually climb up inside, and walk around
the outside balcony, where the keepers would have walked.
This is looking down at the heads - you can see the beginnings of the notorious Manukau Bar, where many ships and small boats have come to grief; it was the site of our worst maritime disaster in 1863, when HMS Orpheus ran aground on the Manukau Bar and sank with the loss of 189 lives.
Looking the other way, you can see the road in to the lighthouse, with evidence
of our hot, dry summer:
I enjoyed my day out immensely!