A beautiful clear sky winter’s day today and we decided to drive out to Marsden Cove with the bikes. I know serious bikers actually bike all the way there from Waipu and even further, but I am a non-serious biker who nevertheless enjoys exploring corners by bike. We parked at the beginning of Marsden Bay Drive. Our initial thought was to explore the walkway beside the mangroves at Marsden Point – first stop is to find it! No signs – will contact that Whangarei District Council about that!
Papich Road is the turn off to the Walkway/Cycleway around the mangroves. An easy ride/walk around the edge of the mangroves and out to the beach right beside Northport. A beautiful spot to walk along the beach and spot the birds. Some of the mangroves have been killed off which seems a shame. I think mangroves are much maligned – they are a great habitat for birds, small fish and insects, and create a buffer in storms.
Coffee is the next stop at Off the Hook Cafe and Bar in the Marina. It is a beautiful spot to sit and watch the boats go by, read the paper, and sit in the sun. A cycle to the entrance to the Canal is a must – the harbour looks a picture, with Mt Manaia and Mt Aubrey as the backdrop. A small park provides another place to relax and sit in the sun or walk along the beach – it is mid winter, but a Pohutukawa does not know that and is flowering away by the canal. You can keep riding around to One Tree Point and the other side of the marina, but that is not on our agenda today.
On the drive back to Waipu, we stop off at Princes Road and the Ruakaka Wildlife Refuge. This is another magic spot with an estuary teeming with life at lowtide, and high tide a beautiful spot to kayak and explore. You can hire kayaks off Simon who lives on Princes Street – ring him to be sure. Phone Simon 09 432 8668
View the Map of this Drive HERE