February 15, 2016

New Zealand: Waitakere Ranges Regional Park & Muriwai Gannet Colony

Piha is a famous black sand beach on the Tasman Sea near Auckland.  It is also a treacherous beach where lifeguards constantly monitor the surf and adjust positions of the "safe swimming cones." 
Lion Rock and The Gap 

 Some visitors created spirals in the sand with a rake while others flew drones. 
 A life ring in case we misjudged the tide and our escape velocity.
Richard can never resist a cold swim and Kite Kite Falls delivered!
We were lucky to visit the Muriwai Gannet Colony during nesting season.  Not much real estate for 1200 couples and their chicks (one per family).  In about one month, the young gannets will be ready to cross the Tasman Sea (2000 km) to Australia.  
Survivors will return in 2 - 6 years to nest.

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