Mercer Bay Loop
Mercer Bay Loop had popped up in my newsfeed multiple times with every new photo making this location look more and more appealing. Once I looked into it (or in my case stalked the geotag), I was hooked. We realised that we all had one weekend free so the three girls and I planned our first trip of many.
For these day trips we had one rule. It more or less went that whenever one person would drive, the others would bring snacks/lunch. Because for us, food is life and has to be included in all day excursions. It also meant that we weren’t spending much, only forking out once out every four weeks for gas and would prevent an outbreak in all of us being hangry. If you’re travelling regularly with a small group of friends and you’re wanting to do it on the cheap, it’s definitely something I would suggest as it makes things affordable and simple.
Mercer Bay is located out West, so leaving in the morning is a must as it’s a bit more of a journey and guarantees a full day of activities. We were on the road by eleven, taking our time to get to get out to the Waitakare Ranges. General chitchat and a couple of tunes that caused us to belt out in song passed time till we found ourselves pulling up to gravel. Parking was extremely convenient here so we easily found a spot and once we got ourselves together, we started walking. Even though it had been typical on and off Spring weather in the week leading up to the overcast day, the track was clearly outlined and we had no issues with directions or muddy ground. As we stumbled along we got a taste of the view that we were about to see in full. It made us eager for the rest so after soaking it all in, we continued on.
After twenty or so minutes we found two lookout points where you could see the Western coastline and the vast Tasman Sea. Both are barricaded for obvious safety reasons but us being the adventures we are and me being a slight instigator we carefully climbed over to sit on the edge of the first lookout. This is not something I would advise as I later learnt there has been reports of people who have lost their lives. But if you do, please proceed with extreme caution. We tried to be as safe as possible by holding onto each other tightly and watching where we walked until we knew we were all safely sitting. It was a thrill to say the least and to look past our feet to the waves crashing against the rocks at the bottom of the cliff face was almost surreal. We looked across the ocean, breathed in fresh air and appreciated the seascape before us.
A short walk up a few stairs lead us to the second lookout which shows more of Mercer Bay beach to the left. For this one the majority of us stayed behind the barricade, again me being me, curiosity took over. To get the edge it’s a little steeper and not really worth it as the lookout is higher so you get a better view, so best to stay behind for this one!
After taking in all that we could for the day, we set off back to the car. The walk there was majority downhill so the way back was much longer and a bit more gruelling. The view also wasn’t as nice as the coast was behind us. Surrounded by greenery is never a bad thing though so we trudged back and landed completely on our backs in the a grassy field that was a few meters from the car.
This trip left us a little exhausted, a little full (everyone bought too much food) and overall pretty darn stoked that we had made it through one of the prettiest walks in Auckland. A must-do in our books and one that we will most definitely be visiting again.