On Friday 29 April 2016, a group of 6 (2 from China and 3 from South Korea and myself) left Auckland Institute of Studies at 2.20pm and went to meet Muriwai Beach Horse Treks at Muriwai Beach. It was a cloudy afternoon and the temperature was about 22 degrees. At the beach, there was a steady sea breeze, but it wasn’t at all cold for horse riding.
The drive north-west to Muriwai is a pleasant one, taking approximately 40 minutes and passing by some orchards and strawberry farms (unfortunately strawberry season doesn’t start until October). We then passed by some vineyards near Huapai and Kumeu, and some small sheep and cattle farms just before Muriwai.
We met Hayley and her crew from Muriwai Horse Treks at 3.15pm on the edge of Woodhill Forest, had some instructions about horse riding, and the group got on their horses which were all very tame and friendly and set off to the beach. They rode along a short, sandy track which leads down to Muriwai Beach, and then along the beach, which is spectacular at any time but even more so on horseback. There were a couple of kitesurfers enjoying themselves in the surf, which added to the scenery.
After some time on the beach, the trek then headed up to Woodhill Forest, through some of the forest along the side of a stream and then over the stream. Finally, the group returned to the starting point. The ride took about 1 hour.
After the horse riding, the group said goodbye to the team and horses from Muriwai Horse Treks and we drove a short distance to the carpark at Muriwai Beach so we could look right along the beach from the southern-most point.
The drive back was quick, about 35 minutes, as there was very little traffic so we returned to Auckland Institute of Studies at about 5.30pm.