Te Maika – 10 – Excursions…

As I have mentioned, Te Maika is on a peninsula. One side of the peninsula is the rugged west coast, the other the Kawhia Harbour. Our bach, as can be seen in the photos, looks out to the mouth of the harbour. As it was when I was a child, we have some “must do”s while on holiday at Te Maika. And, as our legs are our only form of transport, these involved walking.

One such walk takes us to the upper reaches of the harbour at low tide. If one is a geologist this walk can become a very interesting discovery ground (world-renowned, apparently) and if one is a child one can discover any number of “dinosaur” bones!  I remember taking my children on an excursion as far as we could go and discovering “dinosaur eggs”… whatever they actually were they do have significance in the geological scheme of things. Small sand crabs also provide objects of study as children dare to hold them… or not!

Isaiah’s “dinosaur” bone.
First crab

A second walk takes one down the other side of the peninsula, around the rocks and down the long ocean beach. As a child, I remember this was a major excursion and we packed drinks and snacks to enjoy when we reached our goal – the hole-in-the-rock. On the way along Ocean Beach we would dance and play in the shoreline waves so togs were the main apparel. Once we reached our destination and we’d been refreshed with food and drink, we would find the best swimming hole, or more than likely, romp between several to see which was deepest or warmest. And my grandchildren still do the same today… it’s wonderful that some things remain the same in our ever-changing world!

Returning from a wander over the hills.
Through one hole in the rock…
…and the other hole…

A third “must-do” is the walk along the hilltops. This is an “all-weather” activity as it is fun when the wind is blowing as spindrift can be viewed from the tops of the hills and there is always a cosy nook in which to sit for a while. In a stormy high tide I love to watch the breaking waves on the rocks below and on a sunny day it is fun to watch the fishing craft head off for a day of fishing or return with their catches.

A small boat heads back to the safety of the harbour after a day’s fishing.

There is a section on the rugged coast which provides a wonderful amble for budding rock climbers. The sand is only exposed at very low tides and even then it depends on the shift of the sands.  A “rock scramble” is a must as one watches the sea surge and wane into the gaps between the rocks.  I remember my father having to carry me across some “chasms” as I was afraid the sea would come and claim me as the waves gushed in and then rushed out again.