Having made a brief discovery of the dam up behind Waihi Beach the day before, I was keen to see if there were any walks to be walked. There are no signs to guide anyone – and perhaps that is the sign! In the spirit of exploration we found our sturdy footwear and headed back up the hill.
I’d been getting lazy with my photography; starting to rely on my phone which doesn’t have many pretensions. Reviews of it describe the phone camera as “adequate”. But it has the convenience of availability. And lightness and pocketability. Whereas my ancient Canon DSLR is a big black beauty that is likely to lead to muscle strain. It doesn’t have a live view or do panoramas. A selfie stick for my DSLR would look more like a Hiab crane – see below.
The thing the Canon DSLR does do is offer the potential to take lovely photos. It still needs to be used the right way. I always remembering old Ernie Ashby challenging us enthusiastic photographers at the Tramping Club back in the olden days. He claimed that a good photographer with a Kodak Instamatic (the worst camera of all time) could take better photos than an idiot with good camera (Olympus OM1 in those days). He backed that up with some well-composed and well-lit photos from an Instamatic. This seemed miraculous as one of the Instamatic’s features was the impossibility of pointing it in the right direction. Anyway, his point was well-made and well-illustrated.
This was before the digital era, and before the magic of photo editing/rescue programs like Lightroom. I’ve been slack and seeing what I could wring/coax from my “adequate” phone camera. Which is certainly interesting. But even Lightroom has limitations. If the detail/data isn’t there, it can’t make them up. But I digress – substantially. Sometimes a person just needs to gird their wrists and hoist the DSLR.
I’d thought there would be a track up the ridge, and there was, but it was short-lived. It soon came to a locked high gate, barring access to the water tank/reservoir a little further up. So much for Plan A. We retreated back to below the dam where we’d spotted an obscure and small track sign and some steps suggesting a pathway to somewhere. The track was once better used than it is now; it’s current state might be “regenerating”. It was lovely; an entry into a little forest world – overgrown and under-loved. The forest was unusual to us; different sorts of trees and undergrowth.
We hoped that the climb would be rewarded with a view but it never quite managed that. Maybe it had a view once but that got regenerated? Just when we were thinking we’d have to retrace our steps the track looped around and started to descend to the north end of the town, eventually coming out near the tennis courts. The last part had some fascinating flora and fauna; an extraordinary little lady-bird thing and an amazing flower that didn’t look very native. Can someone let me know what the flower is please?
Next day we were en route to Auckland and we started work there the following day in Onehunga. We were very grateful for our three nights at wonderful Waihi Beach.