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Wander to Wharariki Beach

2020 Caravan Diaries

sunny 20 °C

After a day resting up in Takaka and its surrounds, I decide to go a bit further afield, out beyond Collingwood towards Cape Farewell. I don't plan on seeing much of Farewell Spit, as it is very low lying and there is no public access - with the café closed, the only vantage point is at sea level, and it gives no advantage. I stop for a coffee and carrot cake in the Courthouse café in Collingwood and wander the streets (there are two of them) with little to see - the great gift shop in the former post office has closed but some of its stock is in the second hand shop next door, and the chocolate shop has also closed.


Cape Farewell is the most northern point in the South Island, quite easily accessed by walking a couple of hundred metres through a farm. It is blustery and there isn't much to see, so I do not linger.


There is a bit of the road I have not explored, out to Wharariki Beach. I am a little surprised to find not only a holiday park but also a café, one which is open - the sign says it will be open every day "if sunny". It has outdoor seating of a fairly rustic design, and a resident peacock who wanders around. I naturally stop in for a coffee.


The walk out to the beach is rather more substantial, through a farm where I am quite exposed to the wind, then through some bush and finally along the top of a sandhill ridge.


At this point, of course, the battery in my camera fails me but I do have a bit of juice left in my phone. The scale of the beach is so big that it seems deserted, even though there are several groups of people about - including some on horseback.


The rocks here are apparently so famous that Microsoft has used them as one of their standard Windows screensavers - maybe you have seen them (probably without bonus fingers)?


I wander about a bit, and then discover the downside of sand dunes being the path back to the beginning. One line of dunes looks very much like another, and I, of course, don't pick the right one. Looking across to the next one, I don't think it is right either. There's a pretty hefty wind blowing sand along the surface of the beach, which has covered my own tracks, so I can't follow them.


If the beach had been deserted, I might still be there but a couple of women were on their way out - I watched until they had gone, and then headed up after them. Back near the café, I encounter a peahen with three chicks on the path. Mum takes off up the bank, but the wee chicks are a bit confused about how to proceed. I don't want to get between them and their mum, so wait and eventually each one takes to wobbly flight to join mum up on the bank. I don't know if they are related to the peacock down at the café, but I do ask him why he is hanging out there while his wife and kids are stuck at home.


Posted by NZBarry 03:33 Archived in New Zealand

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