I’ve been missing the sound of the surf. Waves thundering on the shoreline, muffling the squawks of seagulls and mollyhawks, salt spray drifting. While we live close to the beach, and are surrounded by beautiful calm bays, we don’t wake to the sound of the break on the beach in the morning. Growing up in the country, my closest beaches to experience the sun and surf were the west coast destinations of Raglan and Port Waikato, where we would head for our Sunday drives to the hot blistering black sand, and the pummeling rolling waves loved by surfers and families alike. The great thing about NZ is our access to varying environments in a relatively short time. So, we decided, during the weekend, to head from the soft white sand of the east to the blackened grains of the wild west, less than an hour’s drive from one side of the coast to the other, to the waves of Muriwai, camera in hand, to capture all and more of what you would expect. We knew we were in the right place when heading down the steep hillside, a mist of spray drifting across the dunes and car-park, filled with vans and surfers getting ready for their day. And the panorama didn’t disappoint. The beach was thumping, a rugged coastline of rolling, lumpy white tipped autumn waves complete with rips and holes for the more adventurous to navigate. Surfers, body-boarders, and para-gliders performed, tourists and families walked and wandered, while pets sprinted madly in circles on the sand, and of course, picnics with feasts of fish and chips were enjoyed. I love trying to capture surf shots; the slick movement of black wet suits and a glossy board against the blue and white arch of the sea, the waves crashing over the rocks, the green and ochre landscape of coastal cliffs complementing the blues of the sky and sea. It was all there! So, to add to the must do list, more weekends of Sunday jaunts off the beaten track, exploring the seas of the Tasman; Karekare, Piha, Bethell’s, Anawhata…if you can’t find us, we’re heading west!