Whatipu Te Ar Tūhura Hillary Trail Ōmanawanui and Puriri Ridge Tracks to Mount Donald McLean)
Back to Whatipu on another wonderful day.
My destination, Mt Donald McLean, is the far distant peak on the left of the photo.
The first section, Ōmanawanui Track, climbs the ridge between the Whatipu Road and Manukau Harbour.
It climbs rapidly...
Looking across to Awhitu Head, the other side of the Manukau Harbour.
Had some Pīwakawaka (Fantail) for company on the climb, would see more later.
Looking towards Auckland, not all the climbing is on steps. A short section of fixed chain helps getting up this rock.
Air Calan over Awhitu
Occasionally you get a reminder Auckland Airport is nearby, Air Calan over Awhitu, Manakau Heads.
Looking back to Whatipu.
The Ōmanawanui Track Trig (241m) is the top of the first peak, but not the highest point of this walk.
Puriri Ridge Track
Ōmanawanui Track exits on to Whatipu Road, cross it and take the Puriri Ridge Track to the summit of Mt Donald McLean.
Mt Donald McLean
Mt Donald McLean (389m) is the highest point of this walk.
Amazing clear view to Auckland City, the Sky Tower is ~27km away.
View across the Manukau Harbour to Orua Bay
It would be wrong to think it's all downhill from here...
Awhitu from Puriri Ridge Track
Evening shadows and the golden light starting to show.
Air NZ over Whatipu
About that 'it's downhill' thought...
Awhitu coast, to think I was cycling on that shore back in January.
Pīwakawaka (Fantail) feeding
It was amazing watching dozens of Pīwakawaka (Fantail) feeding in the evening sun.
They were feasting on clouds of midges rising out of the bush as the sun set.
You can just see them in this short video:
Looking back to Mt Donald McLean
It's the distant peak in the middle of the photo, the closer one is the Ōmanawanui trig. There are 2.5km of boxed steps - 2420 individual steps on Ōmanawanui Track and another 700 on Puriri Ridge - and according to my tracker I walked 12.17km in 04:23 and 21,048 steps.
It was the end, but not the last, of a fantastic hike. While I was OK on the day, was sore walking the next morning and about three days before I was back to normal!
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