It’s a side effect of having 3 jobs, 3 kids and a love of travel that there is very seldom a day when I wake up with nothing to do. This however was exactly what happened this weekend. James was off installing a kitchen for a friend and I had absolutely no plans until 3pm when we were going wine tasting.
We’ve been so busy with the Getting Lost Game that I’ve been really neglecting my camera and it felt like forever since I’d been out and just took photos for the fun of it rather than for work. But where to go?
I decided to let the Getting Lost Game decide for me so I packed up my camera gear and my Getting Lost Game and headed out the drive.
If you want to see the misdirections that I pulled out you can jump on over to our video here. But after a few directions I ended up with the stop for a treat card at Coffee General in Birkenhead. I’d never been before and after one visit it’s definitely on my favourite list. It’s one of the things I love the game for – breaking you out of your normal routes!
Back to the game and a couple more directions and I was on the motorway – heading north and taking the third odd numbered exit I could see. It turns out that heading north – pretty much every exit is even numbered. As I headed out of Auckland, past Puhoi the exits even stopped having numbers.
Now it’s a good time to point out that the Getting Lost Game is a game with no rules. It’s a random, inspiration based games and rules are pretty much the antithesis of this so any misdirection is always open to interpretation. So with a 4 hour time limit I decided I better take the third exit that I saw. This turned out to be the Mahurangi exit – a couple of km’s past Puhoi.
I’ve never been down the road to Mahurangi before and let me tell you it is spectacular! I pulled over on top of an impossibly steep ridge to look at the incredible vista of rolling farmland stretching out in the valley’s below me. The next card was follow a white car so I decided to wait for the next white car and see if they had any ideas where I should head.
The white car totally had the right idea and in no time I had followed them (in a non stalking way! ;-)) to Mahurangi Regional Park. This is the west side of the park and protects a number of peninsula’s and the most amazingly clear, pristine beach I’ve seen.
My last card before the “stop and take a picture” card was head north so I drove literally as far as I could North and stopped there.
From there I headed down to Sullivan’s Bay. There is something so magic about being on a deserted beach. Even more so when the sun is out and the only sound you can hear is the water lapping gently on the shore and the birds quietly talking to each other.
After exploring on foot for a while I decided to go for a drive and see what else I could find. Everything around here is extreme. Sharp turns, impossibly steep roads, but tempered with equally impossible beauty everywhere you look.
A few wrong turns later and I stumbled on Opahi Bay.
Now before I write about a place I always do a bit of searching to see what else I can find out about a spot. It turns out with Opahi Bay that there’s not a lot. It seems that everyone wants to keep this beautiful spot with clear water and a little seat to look out at the far off land and boats moored a secret. And I’m totally okay with that too!
So mission accomplished. The Getting Lost Game not only got me to somewhere great to take pictures but also somewhere I’d never been before but will definitely be coming back to.