Thursday, September 12, 2013

Black sand and a colony of Gannets ...Muriwai

When I heard of a black sand beach, I just had to see it for myself.  Off we went on a beautiful drive to Muriwai Beach on the west coast of New Zealand's north island.  Being a popular spot for surfers, a few were ending up their day of activity.

We arrived in time to capture the setting sun 
which added to the late afternoon's golden glow.

The black sand is caused from volcanic activity millions of years ago.  
As you can see from The Professor's hand below, it truly is black and very fine.

 And of course, we bagged a bit of it!
Something I'll be lugging around for the next several months! Ugh.

Most exciting, though, was the Gannet colony. 

 There was a lot of dipping and diving 
and, being spring, courtship happenings.

It was mesmerizing watching them as evening came.
You can see several of their locations on the cliffs below.

There were a number of hiking paths available
but unfortunately, we didn't have the time.

 As the sun dipped into the horizon, we bid adieu to beautiful Muriwai Beach.
We had no doubt we would be treated to more
beautiful sights of New Zealand.

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