“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Kauwau Island escape

I took a day off work last Friday and treated myself to a local getaway: Kauwau Island. The drive up to Sandspit, where I caught the ferry, was about an hour.

The ferry leaves at 10:30 am, and I realised when I got in the ticket office that I'd left my wallet at home. I'd taken it out of my purse earlier that morning to use my credit card to recharge my calling card. On the plus side, I knew where it was (at home), and Darin was at home. Fortunately, I was allowed to pay for the ticket by calling Darin, getting my credit card number and expiry, and giving it to the clerk. She even added $30 cash for me so I could get some food and afford to go into the mansion on Kauwau Island. The Reuben's ferry service overall was excellent.

There are a variety of tours you can do with them, and the one I chose was the Mansion House Cruise. They made a few mail stops before getting to the mansion house, which is operated by the Department of Conservation. They also manage the Historic Reserve which incorporates the old copper mine- one of New Zealand's earliest mines. The walk from the the mansion to the mine remains goes past the beautiful Lady's Bay, up along a clifftop ridge, through a pine forest, and along a rocky waterfront to the ruins. The mine entry is full of water, and fenced off.

There is one entry you can go inside a short distance, but it too is fenced off.

The blue is copper sulphate. This mine closed about 1855, and an attempt to reopen it in the early1900s failed. The mine is totally flooded with seawater.

The walk is about 45 min each way, and I had time to tour the mansion house before the ferry returned to pick up passengers at 2 pm.  I was back in Auckland at 4:30. 

I was lucky with the weather, to have a partly sunny day. It has been quite rainy and stormy lately, but this time of year is great for walking- not too hot and not too cold.