Then we walked up to the Vaughan Homestead, which weirdly faces in, across the river, rather than out to the great views of Rangitoto. The start of the Coastal Walk turned out to be at the bottom of this hill, so we squelched back down and then headed up along the cliff tops towards the mouth of the Okura River.
Many birds were spotted, some of unknown name, but including grey herons, several types of gull, cormorant, magpies, fantails, sparrows, thrush, blackbirds, tomtits, finches, pukeko, ducks, and something that may have been a yellowhammer?
and eventually we made it to the Okura River mouth, to start the trek back around the coast (which is only passable three hours either side of low tide).
Walking around the clifftops involved quite a lot of up hill and down dale, but the views were grand,
The walk back seemed a bit dull at first - impressive sedimentary layer cliffs to the right, views of Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the left, rock and sand underfoot. But after a while I started to notice the large range of rock formations, some of which were quite like the surface of another planet (or how I imagine the surface of another planet, to be more accurate).
All in all a lovely walk, took us about 3 hours in total, involving a great deal of stopping for photos, and a really rather nice view of Long Bay at the end.