On Sunday 18 December 2016, a group of 10 from Auckland Institute of Studies went to Goat Island and Pakiri Beach. This group comprised 8 people from Korea, 1 from Bulgaria and myself.
Destination: Goat Island and Pakiri Beach
We left Auckland Institute of Studies at 8.30am on a warm (about 22 to 25 degrees) and sunny day and because there was very little traffic, our first stop was just after 9.30am at Goat Island Dive Shop where we hired snorkelling equipment – wetsuits, masks, snorkels, and fins.
A 5-minute drive saw us at Goat Island which is a marine sanctuary which means that fish are protected there – no fishing. We divided into groups so myself and the more confident snorkelers could look after those who were less confident in the water.
Although a couple were nervous, by the end of our session at Goat Island, everyone had been able to get out from the beach to some deeper water where they could see some fish, including some very large snapper. Some snorkellers had a long session, while others chose to have a shorter snorkel and then relax on the beach.
We left the beach area about 1.30pm, rinsed our equipment and then had a picnic lunch at the Goat Island picnic area overlooking Goat Island Beach and the island.
After returning our hired gear to the dive shop, we drove 20 minutes north to Pakiri Beach, stopping occasionally to look at spectacular scenery. At one stage, there were cows on the road and on the return journey, a farmer was moving his flock of sheep along the road.
Pakiri is a beautiful beach with white sand and extremely clear sea. There was a small, even surf on this day and we swam there for more than an hour. Interestingly, the sea was warmer at Pakiri than at Goat Island. I’m not sure why because the two places are both on the east coast and are so close to each other.
The day finished with a stop at Warkworth on the way back to AIS. At Warkworth, we had an early dinner because everyone was so hungry after our day in the sea. For most of us, dinner consisted of snapper ‘n chips at Seafood ‘n Eat It – a place where I can highly recommend the fish and chips, especially the crumbed snapper.
We returned to AIS about 7.30pm