Muriwai, NZ- Beach, viewpoint and Gannet birds

Happy new year. Muriwai beach was one of the potential driving destinations I had identified for my New Zealand driving holiday. However on the day of travel, for a moment I thought if I should skip this place, as it was a bit far away from other destinations I had planned for that day- Pihu and Bethels beach. After some deliberations decided to proceed as per plan.
I first reached Muriwai Beach- it had black sand and a few people having fun in water- nothing much exciting. Then I took a road going uphill and soon reached a view point that offered magnificent views.

Once back, drove further north uphill, till I spotted this viewpoint.

Took some photos here and then entered a walking trail. This trail took me to a viewpoint from where I could see hundreds of Australian Gannet birds. It was a sight to behold. Gannets were everywhere, flying around, sitting on the rock, warming their eggs and so on. I didn’t have any zoom camera for better picture, thanks to 7 kg cabin bag limit in AirAsia.
There were two viewing decks to see the Gannets. Take a look at the photos below and a short video.
Muriwai is reporedly one of the largest colonies of these Australian Gannet birds. It was such a treat to the eyes.


Time I spent in Muriwai was totally worth it. As per map there was also a Mokoroa waterfalls nearby- but the path showed by Google maps was blocked by a display that said it is a private property. Wasn't in a mood to figure out alternate road, so proceeded to next destination. (Bethels beach)

Muriwai beach is also popular with surfers. I saw many people getting down from their cars, dressing up in surfing suits and walk down the hill to the beach with their surfs. There is also a golf course and few other attractions around- I didn’t explore. Wikipedia says this region has large European population and average income here is much more than what people in Auckland earn.

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