Aupouri Peninsula, New Zealand
Here's a gorgeous set of images from Flickr user Clouds76, showing the northern part of New Zealand's North Island. They were taken on a flight from the town of Paihia to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of New Zealand. The first image shows aquaculture in Whangaroa Harbor, about 40 kilometers northwest of Pahia. The rectangular beds in the center are probably oyster or mussel beds. Just above center is the village of Whangaroa. The small island at left is Motu Wai Island.
This image shows the western side of Whangaroa harbor, with the small island of Motu Kauri visible above the peninsula at right center.
The next image shows Mangonui Harbor, with the edge of the town of Mangonui visible at right. It's interesting to note the contrast between the photographs and Google Earth in these images of bays and harbors. The photographs emphasize the shallowness of the water, and show great detail, colors, and texture in the sandbars and tidal channels. In contrast, the Google Earth images tend to show deeper water - in this image, with no underwater structure visible at all. This is likely due to differences in tide levels and sun angle when the photographs were taken.
Twenty kilometers further east, the next five images show Rangaunu Harbour at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula. This image shows tidal inlets at the eastern edge of the harbor.
This image looks south across the southeastern corner of Rangaunu Harbour. Here, the Google Earth image shows the main channel visible in the photgraph, but it is not nearly as prominent or colorful as what appears in the photograph.
The next image looks south across the southern part of the harbor, with the large inlets in the upper right leading south toward the village of Awanui.
Now we turn around and look north to the mouth of Rangaunu Harbour where it opens to the Pacific Ocean. The sandbar structures in the foreground are called Walker Island; the town of Rangiputa faces the camera just above center on the right-hand peninsula.
This image faces south again, showing the southwestern corner of Rangaunu Harbour.
The previous image concludes the northbound part of the flight. Now we are southbound, heading from Cape Reinga back to Paihia. This image shows a portion of a large circular sandbar of brilliant white sand, which encloses Taraere Bay just south of the headlands at the northen tip of the North Island.
Next we have a view looking west across Houhora Harbor, with the Tasman Sea visible in the distance. The town of Houhora lies at right, on the far shore of the harbor.
This image shows the headland at the eastern edge of Rangaunu Harbour, looking southwest across Raupo Bay.
The next two images show the point of land at the eastern edge of Doubtless Bay, looking west across the bay, with Rangaunu Harbour reflecting sunlight in the upper right.
A wider view of the point marking the eastern edge of Doubtless Bay
The final image shows a beautiful stretch of secluded beach on Tupou Bay, south of Doubtless Bay.
Photos taken: December 3, 2006
Photos by: Clouds76
Route: Paihia to Cape Reinga, New Zealand (and returning)