An adventure to Baring Head – Abandoned cottages, a light house and the wild Wainuiomata coast.

So last weekend I planned a forecast gap in the rain to head out to Baring Head, to check out this area which i’d seen some pretty nice looking photos come out from and as a bonus a lighthouse to check out also.

The last couple of weekends have really been so-so for photos, grey and dull so this day I was keen to get out regardless.

So I headed out, Baring Head is located on the coast out from Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt Wellington. The rain was clearing through the area and there was nice, pretty epic looking low cloud hugging the hills of the valley. The road is a bit of a country road, narrow and full of action. But relatively flat as it almost mimics the adjacent Wainuiomata River

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

There was plenty of action I could have stopped and photographed on the way but I knew from the forecast my time of no rain probably wasn’t going to be massive and I was just within 2 hours away from sunset and I knew I had over an hour to hike to the lighthouse.

I made it to the coast, and the beach area which wasn’t where the starting point was to start the hike, but was nice to check out and is definitely on my list for some seascapes one day. I then drove back up the road to the starting point to get going to the lighthouse.

The access point is small carpark which is signposted (East Harbour Regional Park, blueish sign with a lighthouse graphic by memory) and has a loo.

The walk to Baring Head lighthouse is timed at one hour and fifteen minutes with a pump house to see on the way, there is also World War II bunkers and to bouldering activities on the beach accessible by extended tracks.

My decision to go to Baring Head on a day like this, though rather grey and pretty touch and go from rain I feel was perfect the whole walk and views back through the valley were just awesome and really showed of some of the tones and characteristic of this landscape. I read somewhere (can’t remember where, possible on the sign at the start of the trail) that there are volcanic properties to the landscape. Through parts of the walk there had been some recent slips to navigate over and this displayed the dark sediment and rock types that I have only seen before around central plateau region of New Zealand. I’m not a geologist but I definitely noticed this.

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

 

The track is well signposted with posts displaying orange triangles, there is a small climb to get up and over to the greater location which contains lighthouse and its accompanying now abandoned houses (I had no idea these were here!)

The area of the lighthouse and its cottages was super interesting, by the time i got there the sky was colouring up a little but not a burning sunset at all, looking down to the beach area it was stark and black almost of what you see of Iceland and it was blowing a gale! I mucked around for a bit taking a few shots of the bits and pieces around the place, saw the biggest magpie i’ve seen in my life and had staring contests with some sheep.

Following this after taking a bit of a beating from the wind as I felt spits of rain and with light fading, it was time to head back down the trail through increasing darkness and go home. –

 

Here are some images, Hope you enjoy.

 

Have you been to Baring Head? What was your favourite bit?

 

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley

Wainuiomata Valley

Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Old Pump House at the Eastern Harbour regional Park Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Wainuiomata Valley
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Moody Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
Baring Head Wainuiomata Coast
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Abandoned Cottage
Cottages at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Cottages at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Lighthouse Wellington
Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottage at Baring Head Wellington
Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Baring Head Lighthouse
The Petite Baring Head Lighthouse
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington
Abandoned Cottages at Baring Head Wellington

 

A cloudy day at Colonial Knob

After weeks and weeks of telling myself I needed to, I was bursting to take a walk up colonial knob.

At 468 metres (1535 feet) located in Porirua, which is in the Wellington region of the North Island, New Zealand (where I live) colonial knob offers a lot!

From the top the views can go as far as Mount Taranaki on a super clear day, The South Island, Wellington areas of Tawa, Johnsonville, North to Waikanae and seaward to coastal islands, Kapiti Island and Mana Island.

The conditions were pretty clear, it had been a while, I was hoping to go up and see these beautiful views for myself much like the first time I had done this hike. This would be my second shot at getting to the top, this time I was walking the 4 x 4 style track as I was really keen to make it to to the top and didn’t need the deep forest experience as is featured on the other two tracks.

So I set off on the summit (4 x 4) track and it was a gradual climb just on gravel road sort of material, so it was pretty relaxing this time, it was beautiful and clear I could see out to neighbouring suburbs and housing areas as the afternoon started to wind up and start to move closer to sunset.

As a photographer I was tempted to stop for some preliminary compositions but my main focus was to get to the summit to watch the sun go down and check out these awesome views which I still had in my mind.

I carry on, passing sheep and cows and the odd person coming down. It is still clear until I take a few corners and see the communication/radio style masts which top some of the peaks starting to take on some mist and low cloud. This did not get any better…

So instead of standing atop a peak and seeing for hundreds of miles in each direction I was left to try and console with a few sheep who came in and out of visibility (they were pretty cool about it and continued to eat grass in between giving me odd looks).

Although this was not the experience I was expecting it did make for a nice series of low cloud/mist photos, I also had some pretty nice little pockets of evening sunlight.

And also there is something about standing in the clouds that makes you feel alive!

For this series I have given these images probably a different kind of style than my normal, I feel it is a good fit for these and the ability to try something new, much like this experience taught me.

Have you been up colonial knob??

What was your favourite experience of going up?

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Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Summit track, Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Rural setting including sheep among low cloud, Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-3
Rural setting among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-4
Sheep among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
colonial-knob-5
Communication masts among low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington

colonial-knob-6

Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington
Rural setting amongst low cloud on Colonial Knob Porirua Wellington