Amazing scenery and deep calm waters, combined with a bit of history and some great stories make Sandrett a brilliant day trip just over an hour from Auckland.
Our journey to spending a day at Scandrett went a little like this…
Krystal and I wanted to take James somewhere special for Valentines Day. With astronomical vet bills over the last month it also had to be free. We wanted to go somewhere within an hour of home that had amazing swimming and good places for picnics and after so much travel to the south of Auckland we wanted to head north. That’s about as specific as we had got when we started searching Auckland Council’s guide to regional parks.
A long time fan of Gone With the Wind I think it was the name that captured me first – you know, Scarlett and Rhett – OK, maybe that was just me.
I couldn’t find a lot about Scandrett outside of this – a brilliant sign that it was going to be a fantastic place to get lost!
And it was…
We arrived right on high tide (this is important – Scandrett is very tidal and about 3 hours after high tide it is muddy and shallow – still looks amazing but not great for swimming) and I fell in love that instant.
Old red farm buildings (some dating back to the 1800’s) dotted the shoreline and the impossibly blue water lapped at the grass.
With just 20 cars in the car park the land to visitor ratio was superb and in no time we had found a grassy spot to set up our picnic.
It wasn’t long before we needed to cool off so the three of us jumped in the ocean. In just a few steps we were out to our necks in lovely warm water. It was so clear that even this deep we could still see our feet.
It was bliss and we stayed in for a good long swim before hanging our togs up on the good old Kiwi washing line to dry for the next swim.
After cooling down it was time for some serious exploring….
Scandrett was bought by the Auckland Regional Council in 2004 and instead of demolishing the existing buildings they restored them – a brilliant glimpse into the past lives of the Scandretts as they grew up here.
And what a place it would have been to grow up! The signs around the park spoke of parties in the old barn, leisurely trips to Kauwau Island, laid back living and of huge amounts of fun! What’s more, the Scandrett’s seemed like the type of people that everyone wanted to be around and stay with – which of course was exactly what happened.
You can slip back into time for a very modest fee yourself by renting one of the 1950’s batches on the shoreline of Scandrett from the Auckland Council.
After exploring all the history of Scandrett we made our way around the Mullet track – offering spectacular views out over the many islands scattered around the peninsula.
There are a few hills which didn’t impress Krystal (who is 8) so it pays to have an incentive like another swim) to get the kids around the farm without too many complaints.
After 5 hours at Scandrett it was finally time to go home – we packed up our chilly bin and wandered for the last time through the historic buildings and headed back to a life far more ordinary.