Ten Thousand Steps To Sunrise

Dawn ColourCape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay

That might seem like an exaggeration right, a bit of poetic licence to make a cool title? Maybe I meant, it was ten thousand steps, including the return trip, that would be slightly more sane wouldn't it? Nope, according to Simon's pedometer it was pretty close, it may have even been a few more who knows? So how did we wind up walking so far before sunrise, we decided to walk out to Cape Kidnappers from Clifton. According to the website, that's about eight to nine kilometers, depending on where you stop. With the tides and the time of sunrise factored in, we hoped we would have just enough time. In the end, I doubt we could have left any earlier as we had to wait every now and then to let the tide recede enough for us to continue to walk out.

So as 4am rolled past we started our trek under star light and the glow of our head torches. High tide had peaked just after 2:30am, and even though it was suggested not to head out till 3 hours after high tide, with the calm seas, we decided to give it a try. Having to walk higher up on the beach meant walking on the pebbles and shingle, which is harder but the earlier head start was worth it.

The walk was breathtaking, the company great and the morning calm and warm. Walking really gives you a chance to see everything, and on this walk there is certainly a lot to see. From towering cliffs, full of layers and layers of geological history, to wildlife and valleys. Fossils and fractures, a chance to see the power of nature etched into the land.

In the end we reached black reef just before six, where I saw this beautiful sea stack a wash in the receding tide. The thick line of cloud on the horizon meant that sunrise would not be as good as we hoped. We were still a kilometer from the position we hoped for sunrise, but with 15 minutes left we decided this was a pretty good location. There are so many beautiful locations along this walk, so many compositions to work with, this is definitely worth doing again.

As the sunrise continued, the beach we had had to ourselves changed. As the beaches got wider, we saw first a surfer on a bike. Then tourists, people on quad bikes, utes and even the tourist tractor carrying trailer loads of happy people. Why not, it was a beautiful warm, calm morning, the perfect time to explore this landscape and the ganet colony around the corner.

Speaking of which there will be more images to come over the next few days. But before I sign off, thanks Simon for a fun adventure,we should do it again but those bikes looked like a great idea or better still maybe a motorised option.