19 October 2015

Maungakawa: the best sunset views in the Waikato

Although I discovered this new location somewhat accidentally, having now experienced a sunset here for myself, I now believe this must be one of the best locations for watching the sun set in the Waikato.

On the day I discovered this view, we were driving home from Te Miro as a family and decided to take a back road home instead. We'd started the descent back down from the top of Maungakawa hill when suddenly this vista played out before us.

Maungakawa best sunset views Waikato

I knew then and there that I would have to return with camera in hand very soon. It took a week or so to find the right moment but on the last night before daylight savings began I made it back up the hill with hope in my heart and the sunset on my mind.

Sunflare and grassy hills Waikato sunset

It is an extraordinary vantage point from here with views all the way to Pirongia and the smaller hill of Kakepuku off to its left. You can even see the wind turbines on the way to Raglan when the light is right.

Fence long shadows and clouds at sunset

As I stand and make my shots, a few bemused sheep take a moment or two to ponder over this silly stranger and her big metal object before returning to their grass pulling and chewing.

last light on rolling hills Waikato

One lone spiderweb on the fence catches the last of the sun's rays.

Maungakawa spiderweb sunset

Rolling hills Waikato sunset

And in the last moments before the sun finally slips below the horizon, all of a sudden the sky is lit up.

Clouds become fiery dragons flicking flame across the sky.

Maungakawa best sunset in the Waikato

I find myself holding my breath, utterly captivated by this achingly beautiful scene.

Within minutes it is gone as quickly as it came.

Leaving the rain showers on the horizon backlit in pastel hues.

sheep grazing at dusk in the waikato

And as the moments march on, the lights of the Waikato begin to twinkle beneath the clear dusk skies.

And as the light gradually softens and diffuses across the sky, the day is finally done.

pirongia after sunset from Maungakawa

I am left in awe of the moments I have just witnessed.

And so now I pass my awe onto you.

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