As I type these words, I’m sat on the decking outside our little flat with Mrs. E who is reading her book, while the The Spaniel stares at her, then stares at the ball, and then eyeballs Mrs. E once more in the desperate hope Mrs. E throws the ball […and repeat, incessantly]. I’m out of The Spaniel’s view, so I’ve been left in peace to tell you about our very pleasant walk earlier today along the Okura Bush Walkway.

This walking or ‘tramping’ track is about 12 minutes drive from our house, and it’s the perfect place to go to get out of the hustle and bustle of the North Shore. The track undulates through regenerating coastal kauri forest along the Okura River estuary and edge of the Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve to Karepiro Bay.

Kauri trees are among the world’s mightiest trees, growing to more than 50 metres tall, with trunks of up to 16 metres in diameter, some of which have been alive for more than 2000 years.

The entrance of the walkway had a disinfectant site to scrub and disinfect your boots, to help prevent kauri die back disease, a fungus-like pathogen which is a serious threat to these old men of the forest. Once were ‘clean’, we crossed a walkway across the Okura River into a deep forest wonderland, and my camera kept on clicking, and clicking – it was beautiful. The track undulates along the Okura river estuary, and eventually it dropped down into the sea by Karepiro Bay, where The Spaniel dug holes, and the two hoomans had lunch. We then trundled along the track back the way we came.

Other plants we saw included nikau (New Zealand palm trees) and pohututukawa, and we also saw tui, bellbirds, and New Zealand wood pigeons (also known as kererū) one of which sat on a branch above the track (see the photos below), it was a lot bigger than a European pigeon and it just looked down on us. I suspect it was looking for its next victim to poop on, as it had just pooped on a little Chinese girl (much to the amusement of her brother), and us…

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We all found this place enchanting. We will be back, and I may even use it as a regular trail running route.

We’re all content, and a little tired. Mrs. E is now reading in bed, The Spaniel is asleep next to me, and I’m about to have my Sunday afternoon nap.

A great walk, and a fabulous Spring day.

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