Tuesday 4 February 2014

Titahi Bay

On the last day of January, this was the sixth ride we had done in a month. And that, despite all the grizzling about the disappointing summer we are having. Not too bad after all. As for the predictions of a fine week that I wrote about last week, we’ve done pretty well. At the time that I am writing this (Tuesday 4 February) we have had a whole week of fine weather. Let’s hope we'll have a few more like this.

We went for a shortish ride from Porirua to Titahi Bay. It was only 11 kms, and we were out for only about an hour and twenty minutes, but some of it was reasonably strenuous.

We parked near the Pak ‘n Save in Porirua, and set off towards Titahi Bay, on a lovely smooth concrete foot/cycle path that skirts the harbour edge. It is quite a shallow harbour, and the tide was out, so there was quite an expanse of tidal mudflats. Not terribly pretty, and a bit malodorous.

The cycle path runs past a pirate-themed mini golf course – complete with pirate ship, fake concrete cliffs and waterfall – and past Whitireia Community Polytechnic.

The nice concrete track finishes where it meets Titahi Bay Road. We crossed at the traffic lights, and turned right, up Titahi Bay Road – John rode on the road, within the white line, but I stayed on the footpath, as it is quite a busy road.

Where Porirua stops, and Titahi Bay begins (photo by John)

Right up the main road into the suburb, up the hill, and down to the beach. There, we took a little track that ran along the hillside above the beach.

A little track above the beach (photo by John)

View towards Mana Island, from the track above the beach (photo by John)

In the middle of the sweep of the beach, is the Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club building. On the last day (for most) of the school holidays, families were making the most of the beach-worthy weather.

Kids enjoying the last day of the school holidays. Mana Island in the top right of the picture, and the South Island in the distance (photo by John)

The track beyond the Surf Club was too narrow to bike along, from what we could see, so we turned around and headed up the road, back to the northern end of the beach.

The northern end of Titahi Bay Beach (photo by John)

We rode behind the boatsheds overlooking the beach. They’re not as colourful at the back as they are at the front. Then along to the front of the next lot of sheds overlooking the rocks, right at the end of the beach.

Behind the boatsheds

The front of the sheds at the end of the beach

From here we rode up the steep roads up to the top of the rock overlooking the beach. I’m not sure what this promontory is called, but the steepest of the roads to the top was called Terrace Road. I managed to bike up most of it, but the top was just too hard, I had to get off and walk.

The views from up there were well worth the effort. In contrast to the beautifully smooth and shallow beach, the area immediately below the promontory is very rocky and wild looking.

Looking down onto the rocks (photo by John)

Looking the other way, the view extends to the headland beyond Hongoeka Bay and Karehana Bay (photo by John)

There is a wide area of rocky shore between two cliffs

Flat-topped Mana Island lies only 3 kms off shore

Looking south (photo by John)

The suburb of Titahi Bay (photo by John)

The top of the promontory (photo by John)

Looking straight down from the fence on the promontory

After spending some time up there taking in the gorgeous views, and taking photos, we headed back to the car, through the fairly uninspiring streets of Titahi Bay.

I thought we could take a look at some of the exhibitions in the Pataka Museum, in Porirua, but we got there too late. It was just five minutes before closing time. So I had a quick run through. One of the exhibitions is all about Chocolate. Now that is one that I will definitely have to come back to see!

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