Bethell’s Beach 16 March 2018 – English Language Centre activities
Blog article by David Jordan
Friday 16 March 2018 turned out to be an ideal day to visit Bethell’s Beach which is also known as Te Henga.
A group of 11 students plus teacher David left Auckland Institute of Studies at 3.30pm on Friday 16 March. The morning had been rainy and there was a lot of cloud cover when we left but it was a warm day in the 22 to 24 degree range. However, as we arrived at the beach, the sky became clearer and the clouds came and went through the late afternoon and early evening.
We first walked across the stream, which brings rainwater from the Waitakere Mountain Range and empties into the sea, taking some photos on the way, and then explored a few small sea caves at the northern end of the beach. These caves are very well concealed so it is difficult for people to find them if they don’t know the area. We observed some sea life in these caves, some of us getting quite wet as waves surged up them on the incoming tide.
From the caves, we struggled up a sand dune and down the other side, arriving at O’Neill Bay. There is no road access to O’Neill Bay – the only way is to walk from Bethell’s Beach. There is a fence across the walkway, but it is to keep all-terrain vehicles out, rather than prohibiting people. O’Neill is a beautiful beach and well worth the effort involved in reaching it. It’s quite popular with surfers but I wouldn’t advise people to swim there – you should only swim between the flags on Bethell’s Beach when there are lifeguards patrolling.
We headed back to Bethell’s, had a picnic dinner and waited for the sun to set. Sunset was impressive and so was the twilight time after sunset. This night was also perfect for stargazing because there was no moon, so as it got dark, we were able to clearly see the Milky Way, and several constellations like the Southern Cross and Orion as well as a myriad of other stars. We were also fortunate enough to see a couple of shooting stars.
We arrived back at Auckland Institute of Studies about 11.30pm, having dropped some students off at their homes on the way.