“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” -Theodore Roosevelt
If there is one thing that Devonport is good for, it is the access to numerous beaches and endless suburban streets stacked in strips along the peninsula. It doesn’t just stop at Devonport either, you could walk from Devonport right up to Milford if you really had the desire to but personally that sort of walking preferably requires a dry day with good company, good music and if all is lost, great motivation.
A few years ago, I used to despise walking, perhaps because my Mum has such a sprightly enthusiasm for it. I was probably the laziest person you’d ever meet but when I came to New Zealand, I slowly became accustomed to it partially because I was forced into it, walking to and from school each day and being within walking distance of the village, my parents always said “it’s a nice day, why don’t you walk?”. I could only grumble, put on my shoes, grab my keys and leave the door to face the strenuous task of using my legs as a form of transportation. However, recently, my coinciding laziness and passing of my driving test has reinstated some of this attitude, lessening my affection for walking. Saying that, I do often go for dog walks with friends for a good catch up. Devonport is a dead-end when it comes to a daytime stroll, being the boot of the peninsula, the only way to get from here to the city is by ferry, car or bus, so I personally get a little bored with the lack of variation in Devonport walks when I’m craving something new. I did find a new little path near Narrowneck Beach the other day that sported some beautiful purple flowers… In my opinion, my favourite time to walk is in the evening when one can take a stroll up Mount Victoria to watch the fluorescent sunset (I say stroll but it is more of a climb), or walking along the beach as the sun goes down, the sky aglow with a soft pink light. It’s this kind of time when I feel life is more achievable and that any issue I’d had before is less daunting. I can forget for a little while and just breathe, you can’t force that, hence my unwillingness to go for walks I don’t want to. I guess that I’m a hopeless romantic but walks during the sunset sounds like a pretty idea past-time, to witness part of the world at it’s most beautiful moments. I say this because there is no chance that you could get me out of bed at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. Sorry.
Plan it right and one can tick off all of the east-facing beaches in one go during low tide: Torpedo Bay, Cheltenham Beach, Narrowneck Beach, St Leonards and Takapuna Beach. In all, I reckon that this would take a few hours at least, and each beach offering an ever so slightly new view of Rangitoto Island across the Gulf with a couple of cafés along the way to quench your thirst.
Not a walker? Just drive to each beach, they’re all accessible except for St Leonard’s which is surrounded by cliff edges! But that defeats the point!! If you want to run it, be my guest but I won’t be joining you! On a separate note I did run 5k yesterday in 30 minutes at the gym and I very proud of myself for this little achievement! Nonetheless I won’t be running along every beach in one go any time soon. The staggering amount of joggers and cyclists that I see around Devonport every single day is much more than you’d find in England in one week! It’s crazy, Devonportians are portraying themselves as fitness freaks, lycra and all! Good on you though! On the North Shore any time soon, come and check out the beaches, they really are the prettiest part of the peninsula as well as the several reserves around Devonport that are ideal places to take your dog and as it was Earth Day the other week, I think it’s only appropriate to mention this.
Happy Walking everyone!