At the crack of dawn we were up. 5:30am to be exact & the road trip began. We were on the road and heading north up to Mangawhai Heads. A secluded beach perfect for Jodie to learn to surf. The car was packed and we were on our way. Watching the sun rise as we wound our way down to the beach.
We arrive and temperature mustn’t be more than about 10 degrees. The car park lay empty, Jodie caressing her EcoVessel mug full of Tea, wondering if she can actually bare the temperatures of the sea. After not much persuasion, she was suitin’ up (that’s surfer lingo) and heading down to the beach. Me on the other hand, I was wrapped up warm with a bag full of cameras ready to capture the moment Jodie learns to surf.
Humble brag: these are probably some of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken. Especially those bottom two.
This beach was literally perfect. Surrounded by mountain-like hills, with the faint view of a volcano in the distance, this beach was the perfect destination to our road trip. Getting down there so early meant it was empty, we had the whole thing to ourselves… it was bliss. I could walk up and down the shoreline, with no interruptions, taking pictures and capturing the moment. Taking it all in and fully appreciating all that New Zealand had to offer.
Jodie on the other hand. She was getting one-on-one lessons from Reece on how to become a professional surfer.
Taking their brand new surf board out on it’s maiden voyage, I wait on the shore line practising with the camera. One of the downsides to New Zealand… the bloody sand flies. Horrible, awful flies that bite you. My legs are literally double the size. For anyone that knows me, knows I’m pretty allergic to insect bites and these sand fly bites are no different. My cankles are in full force, my legs are itchy AF and well, I smell like a walking bottle of Deep Heat with the amount of Tiger Balm I have smothered over me.
Top tip: TIGER BALM IS A LIFE SAVER! It literally stops the itching almost instantly and soothes the bite!
After a very successful surf session & a very successful photoshoot, we got ourselves together and made our way back. Stopping in the local town at The Chocolate Factory & cafe. A very Italian looking building,with a gorgeous cafe and chocolate factory. Now I’ve had a lot of Eggs Benedict in my time and the one I had for breakfast on this day has to be up there in the top three. It was divine!
We finished off our breakfast and made for the road home. This weekend was Labour Weekend so the traffic heading up north was horrendous. The whole way was nose-to-tail traffic, at a standstill for the entire drive. Luckily for us, we flew through it and got home in no time, ready for a BBQ with the family.
I feel I’m going to end up finishing every blog post with “I’d highly suggest X“, but genuinely, I really would. Be prepared for a bit of a road trip, pack the snacks and prepare the playlist. Leave early to beat the traffic and make it your mission to visit Mangawhai Heads!
| By Harrison |