And here is the view going in via said lower entrance:
Most of the walks were through the bush and, except for the track from the main entrance to Kendalls Bay (Rongohau), the tracks weren't very well maintained - clearly lots of bits that had worn away through weather and use. As a result the track could be quite difficult to maneouvure when it's not dry.
Despite the name of the park there weren't many kauri in evidence, certainly no adult ones. It's an area dominated by old pines, although the bush that is re-generating is largely native and there's clearly an ongoing intention to whittle out some of the larger pines to encourage this, as there were a lot of massive pine trunks cut and left on the forest floor.
One track that we followed went out to a point where you could see the Chelsea Sugar Factory, the Harbour Bridge and across the inner Waitemata which was quite lovely but the trees obscured the view. From here you can walk all the walk to Chelsea, but we headed for Kauri Point itself and Rongohau instead.
There was an unofficial track out to the end of Kauri Point, branching off where the main track heads down hill to the eastern part of Rongohau. The views from out there were just grand:
And there was some lovely moss along both sides of the path at several points:
Bird-wise many were heard but few seen. I suspect as this is very close to an urban area the birds are quite reticent. There did seem to be a small flock of escaped parakeets, which followed us around a bit, but still didn't come very close. We also saw a tui and a pair of fantails very briefly flit past.
Kendalls Bay itself was accesible from the eastern end and the western end, but as the tide was in you couldn't walk between them unless you went back inland via bush and hills (which we did). A very lovely spot, only two other people on the beach although we did see quite a few people walking their dogs up on the tracks.
At this point the camera crapped out again so I turned to my mobile. But I think I've since worked out how to fix it whenever it does it, so mercifully I won't be having to rely on the phone camera again, fingers crossed.
This walk took us about 2 hours, with quite a bit of stopping for photos and a sit-down break in the western part of Rongohau for a snack. Although it's a bush area it's quite different from the traditional NZ bush walk, due to the high presence of pines rather than natives. Quite a bit of up and down, and the track itself would be a challenge in places if you had weak ankles or short legs. Would definitely like to go back and do the loop walk through the swamp, and the track to Chelsea, that we didn't have time for.