I love to have a place I can go to, a place where I can run or bike to my heart’s content. A place of tranquility, a place for ”me’ time.

I hadn’t really found that place in Auckland until I found Long Bay Marine Reserve the other week. It sits just at the top of the North Shore on the East Coast, a few kilometres north of our flat in Murray’s Bay.

The coastal aspect contains sandy beaches, cliffs and rocky reefs, whereas inland there are areas of native shrubs, grassy fields, and lots and lots of hills (greating for trail running and mountain biking). Apart from the native seabirds you would expect, there are a wide array of native birds in the fields and native shrub. These include birds such as tui (whoops not the beer, the bird), kingfishers, shags, kereru (quite a graceful pigeon), pukeko, and fantails. I love the pukeko, they are a bit chicken like in their movement, and a little bit bizarre to look at. There is a bird I don’t know the name of, anyone know? Please see the pic below.

It is quite a magical place, and I’m trying to get out there as much as I can on my bike at the moment. If I am in the mood for it, I can cycle there from our flat. Unfortunately The Spaniel cannot come with me due to the bird life (dogs are banned, and The Spaniel LOVES birds in a way that is unhealthy for the bird, not a good combo). Mrs. E hasn’t been there yet, but I am sure she will love it, particularly Granny’s Bay, an idyllic little bay with a beach. We’re actually hoping to go there later today for a picnic, and I am sure I will blog a little more about Long Bay, it’s a place we will visit often.

A haven in the hustle and bustle of city life.

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