Pinnacles And Wild Southern Seas

Postby Nuttykiwi on Thu 23/Apr/09 8:53pm

Our Easter was spent going to a little piece of wild NZ we’d never been to. We left all the toys behind like bikes, kayaks and tramping packs. But we grabbed our two ‘older than teenage’ kids, a couple of tents, cookers and plenty of easter eggs and hot cross buns and went south east to a little place called Lake Ferry (that’s in the North Island). We stayed in the campground, a little conspicuous in our tents as most ‘campers’ had permanent set-ups attached to caravans or cabins and a quad and boat parked up outside. We didn’t even have fishing rods! We learnt later that we could have done with those.
The southerly storm was just blowing through when we arrived Thursday night but by morning there was nothing left but a cool breeze, well so we thought until we headed around the coast to the little ‘infamous’ Ngawi and Cape Palliser. The surf was amazing, huge, multiple swells coming in from the south, crashing and bashing the coastline like nothing we’d seen before..,
. Even the seals were happier beached, well actually grassed… lying around like cows early morning, except the youngsters who were thriving in the wild surf, as they do, carefully watched from the shore.
It was awesome and kept us occupied for hours just watching, photographing and taking it all in. The weather was beaut, although a little cool.
Day two, that’s right we stayed there, we thought we’d investigate these Pinnacles, one of AA’s 101 things kiwis should do.
Well all I can say is we’ve ticked off a few of the 101 things but this had to have been one of the top attractions so far, right up there with the Glaciers and free. What we thought might be an hour or so walk up a creek bed to see some eroding pinnacles turned out to be a 4-5 hour exploration in and out of lots of pinnacles. It was an amazing place, a hidden scenic gem. Day three had us head the other direction, west following the coast back towards Wellington, although some distance further around the coast. We passed a collection of very old kiwi baches, many surrounded by kids and families enjoying the lovely autumn weather and fishing a few hundred yards from the front door. We heard later that DOC in their wisdom tried to have these demolished a few years back, alleging they were all illegal. What a tragic end that would have been to a real kiwi icon.
It was a highlight of our day, viewing these lovely ramshackle remnants of generations of kiwi holiday homes. On around the coast we stopped to explore again. The seas were definitely calming down but the fury of the southern storm was evident in the flotsam and other beached goodies left behind including large bundles of seaweed and hundreds of tiny paua shells, what a waste. We were once again kept amused wandering the shore looking out for treasures. In the evenings we wander down to the ocean to sit and watch dozens of fishermen casting, sitting and waiting. Some bring in a fish or two.

Lake Ferry was a lake this trip, but usually it’s not because a channel drags the water swiftly out to sea, prompting many signs of danger along the lake shore. The southerly storm fixed that closing the bar entrance with thousands of pebbles. It seems the authorities kept it closed over Easter to allow families to enjoy the lake and seashore in relative safety. But as the weekend came to an end and we packed up to head home, a digger was out beginning the long slow job of opening the channel again.
The only grumble for the weekend was the fact that when we returned to camp on Sunday afternoon that we’d forgotten about the Easter Sunday trading laws which meant a pint a basket of chips at the local was out of the question.
Sunset over lake Ferry
Member for: 16 years 11 months

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