If ever I am called to go to another town or city for pleasure of for business I try to get out for an early morning walk. For me, it’s the best time of the day. It’s the time before most people begin to move, and the time when the light is clear, the sun is still low, and the air is fresh.
It was on such a morning that I took my morning walk along the coastal walkway at New Plymouth in the Taranaki region of New Zealand. Taranaki occupies that area of the large western cape of the North Island of New Zealand. Its central feature is Mt Taranaki, a Fuji look-alike that dominates the landscape throughout the region. The coastal walkway stretches 11 km from the Port Taranaki, past the New Plymouth CBD, then on around the cliffs and beaches in a northerly direction. It’s popular with walkers, runners and cyclists.
On this particular morning there was a lovely piebald sky that added to the enjoyment of the walk.
A favourite for many Aucklanders, Long Bay Regional Park attracts well over one million visitors a year. The park takes its name from the great stretch of beach that stretches between cliffs at both the northern and southern ends. The large park has plenty of trees, including coastal Pohutukawa, that provide shade for the many groups and individuals that visit for a day out at the beach. At the northern end of the beach a pathway leads up to the clifftop and winds past farmland along the cliff’s edge to the Okura Inlet. The return trip can be made along a rocky foreshore at low tide, but can be quite slippery for the unwary.