Langs Beach, on Northlands east coast not far south of Whangarei, is one of the more popular beaches north of Auckland. With a broad sweep of white sand backed by numerous majestic Pohutukawa trees, Langs Beach is a classic amongst Northlands many picturesque bays and coves. The Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) flowers just before Christmas, and Langs Beach is a truly magnificent sight at this time of year when these trees are fully laden with their bright red flowers.
Both ends of Langs Beach are marked by pohutukawa-festooned cliffs, and there are also a number of rock outcrops along the beach itself. Offshore, the Hen and Chicken Islands, named as such Captain Cook in 1769, are formed from the remains of former rhyolitic volcanoes. Dominated by Taranga Island (the Hen), these steep-sided islands are now a wildlife sanctuary, well-known for the spectacular snorkelling and diving opportunities that can be had in the clear waters that surround them.
It was a late summers morning when I took this photograph on Langs Beach, looking out towards Taranga Island on the horizon at sunrise. In the low light of dawn I had the opportunity to get a relatively long exposure (15 seconds), which I took just as a wave broke and washed over the rocks in front of me to give the soft silky texture that can be seen in the resulting image.