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.


~ ~ ~


24 comments:

Brian Miller said...

holy cow...look at all those birds...ha. cool on their courtship as well...smiles....wonderful pics...so the black sand is volcanic?

Joe said...

Beautiful pictures.

Out on the prairie said...

I have only seen a few black sand beaches. The birds are unique how they methodically have the same space.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Totally stunning series of images Reena, you have a brilliant eye for a great shot!

Chris Rohrer said...

Love your shots....and the Gannets!!! Oh lucky you:)! Gorgeous birds!

Sylvia K said...

So much beauty and you've captured it so perfectly, Reena!! Amazing black sand and the birds are awesome! Thanks as always for sharing the wonders! What a wonderful trip you're having!!

unrosetoinviacerreto said...

How wonderful to place to where your photos make great justice.
Brava!
Ciao
Loretta

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

More striking photos. How terrific to travel to such a beautiful place and find so many new areas to photograph.

ladyfi said...

What an adventure you're having. Amazing shots.

Daryl said...

gorgeous .... you can put the sand in a baggie and mail it home ....

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

Beautiful images and how awesome that you were able to get such great photos of the gannets. Such striking birds.

eileeninmd said...

I love the beautiful beaches and the lovely sunset. And my favorite shots are of the Gannets. Very cool sight to see! Gorgeous images, Reena!

eileeninmd said...

I love the beautiful beaches and the lovely sunset. And my favorite shots are of the Gannets. Very cool sight to see! Gorgeous images, Reena!

Linda R said...

Such amazing photos.. That last one is my favorite.. I would be lugging that sand home as well..

Hugs~

bailey-road.com said...

Such a gorgeous place. The black sand is really amazing and all those gannets! Wow! I can imagine the noise they made. Your photos are splendid, Reena.

Rose L said...

I think the birds are striking and there sure were a lot of them! In Hawaii i saw a black sand beach and a white sand beach!

hong kong property said...

these are really beautiful shots :)

Kathryn said...

Just in love with those bird shots. How cool to see black sand.

rainfield61 said...

I think the professor should be the one in the last photo.

Such a thinker. A philosopher?

DIMI said...

Hallo Reena!!
Eileen send me!!Ow my!!Gorgeous pictures from a very beautiful country!!I like your beaches and sunset shots!!I love birds!!!
Have a happy weekend!!
Dimi...Athens...Greece

GailO said...

Wow! What beauty! and those gannets are stunning.....great shots!

Hilary said...

Wow.. these are wonderful. I just adore that 6th photo of the birds, land and water. It's a beauty.

Michael Manning said...

This was definitely a first for me, Reena. I enjoyed learning about black sand and of course, your great photography is always fun!

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful photos! What a fantastic spot. I especially love the subdue coloring on the birds.