Goodbye New Zealand

After 3 months of traveling with the family in New Zealand, we have finally come to the end of our trip. It was everything I was hoping for and much more. 

Thank you for the beaches, the trees, the wind, the waves, the sand, the volcanoes and the people. Good bye New Zealand.

Pauls Bach

Its towards the end of our trip now. A good family friend has lent us his beach house (bach) north of Auckland. It is a perfect example of a New Zealand bach. Filled with wonderful 50's and 70's artefacts, the house has the smell of sand and summer. Memories of youth.  

Karekare

Karekare is one of those places that Im always longing to return to. Located on the west coast of Auckland, the beach has been used numerous times for film backdrops.

The wildness is obvious and a little unnerving. The walk toward the water through the dunes, you can hear the thunder of the crashing waves in the distance. 

The spray from the sea water fogs the horizon as we look toward the mound that is perched just off the shoreline. We stand watching the waves and tide come in around the small island. On occasion a large surge comes in a covers the two edges of the island as the water reaches us and the edge of the dunes. These surges can easily catch you off guard as a reminder of the power of the sea.

 

This is the Place

This is the place where I got lost. Such outstanding beauty. The wildness of the waves and the blackness of the sands. Every direction inspired me. 

We walked down the beach to be swamped by the long reaching waves that every now and then would surprise you. One minute walking ankle deep, the next waist deep and being drawn out to sea by the strength of the returning water. It catches all the visitors. 

Surfers glide on the angry water that apparently is an aftershock from a cyclone that hit Australia a few days before. 

This is a place where I would live. 

 

Nganga

The organic garden to the side of Nganga's art shop gave noting away. It was a lovely small patch of land that had a few herbs growing and some colourful vintage signs and an old truck. As we sat there, a man with long wavy hair wondered down the side of the grass. His body was long and slender and his face gave me the impression that he was a man with a few stories onboard. 

Nganga is an artist as I found out and his new art gallery that was filled with colourful paintings and psychedelic artworks, had only recently been purchased in Collingwood. 

I later found out that Nganga's murals proudly adorned many public walls in the town. Apparently his fish and chips that he also makes in the back of the gallery are a firm local favourite.

Farewell

Farewell Spit and the neighbouring Wharariki Beach is a stunning area of New Zealand. This is a remote and harsh landscape with unforgiving winds picking up the sand in the air and lashing against it our bare skin. 

We battled the blowing wind, over the dunes, down onto the beach to reach a seal colony between the island and the main land. They danced and played so close to us, I felt as we were standing in a nature film, front row. 

Back up the track and looking down at the spit gave us an impression of this incredible curly landmass. A memorable birthday for me. 

Mark & The Shady Rest

We met Mark by him handing us a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. With a  broad English accent he greeted us in his large kitchen as he stirred a pot of stew for the people that worked with him.

Such an eclectic mix of things filled the interior of The Shady Rest. Every corner is a beautiful still life, vintage glasses, peacock cushions and aged wooden cabinets. 

Our room was the large one at the front of the house. 

The Riwaka Resurgence

It was such a winding road, up over the mountain range that the Abel Tasman National Park borders. The other side promised Takaka, a hippy outpost on Golden Bay. However, to get there we had to twist and turn up and down this steep passage. 

On the hard left the sun streamed through over the tips of the distant mountain range, casting an amazing but subtle blue tone.