Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Seabird Coast

It’s winter here in New Zealand. Palmerston North, where we live, is grey and dreary all year round but it is particularly miserable in winter. So when my parents (who are in the country for a couple of months) got the chance to spend a week (for free!) in a bach up north in Kaiaua, we were very eager to go along for the ride, along with all three of my siblings.

Kaiaua is a teeny-tiny village on the Seabird Coast, most know for its famous fish and chips and the large colonies of waders and other seabirds that breed and spend the winter here. It’s only an hour south of Auckland, but it took us 6.5 hours to drive there from PN.

The great view we had of Mt Ruapehu on the drive up.

For those readers who might not know, a “bach” is what New Zealanders call a kind of summer cottage. They can be anything from extremely basic shacks to luxury villas. The one we stayed in fell in between these two extremes, and was thankfully well insulated and had a fire. I hadn’t felt that warm and cosy in a long time.

Baches in Kaiaua

We had no firm plans for the week we were there, which I think is what we all needed. Lots of cups of teas were had! We also managed to watch the entire extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy again (one of my goals before The Hobbit comes out), go for walks on the beach, eat some of those famous fish and chips, and the boys did some fishing of their own (but didn’t catch anything).

A pied oystercatcher hunting along the beach.

We did some exploring of the Coromandel region too. The weather wasn’t the best, but to make up for it we saw about ten rainbows in one day. Plus, it is kind of comforting to be nestled up under a blanket by the fire, doing some embroidery and listening to the rain and wind shake the bach outside.

A beach in the Coromandel

It rained a lot.

A rainbow in Whitianga

We also went cheese tasting at a local organic farm, the Matatoki Cheese Barn. I love cheese but I have spent most of my life reaching for the cheapest cheese on the supermarket shelf so the Matatoki cheeses packed quite the wallop to my deprived tastebuds! There was a cumin-studded gouda that was particularly moreish. Supermarket cheeses will never be the same to me again.

Cheese Platter at Matatoki

An alpaca at the cheese farm. Randomly.

It was a slow, rambling, cosy sort of holiday. Just the thing to get us through the rest of winter.

Do you have a favourite place to holiday in the winter?