At first glance, our cabin appeared to be recently vacated by Jed Clampett, but not so. Small and sufficient, it was comfortable and quaint. We stayed there Friday night but had to move to a “bunk house” on Saturday night. New Zealand holiday parks are similar, I suppose, to KOA parks. Yet, I’m reluctant to make the comparison. Several hundred people share a common space, but…it’s quiet. These Kiwis are a polite bunch. The camp is large enough for all the amenities, yet small enough to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch while watching the kids on the playground. The beach is a three-minute walk, over the berm from our cabin.

New Zealand is Aotearoa, in Maori—the long white cloud. We were grateful for any sized cloud on Saturday afternoon as a respite from the unrelenting rays of sun.

Sophie is our little fish. She spends hours braving the waves, crashing and scooping her to shore—if she lets them. She even mustarded the courage to enter the waters soon after being pinched by a crab while tiptoeing into deeper waters.

Milo plays in the water, but is often more content excavating and carving the beach into mounds, moats and craters. Sticks become gun turrets, clam shells are windows, and dried seaweed adds decor. His little feet and hands covered with wet sand, sparkle.

The bay provides several kilometers of white sand beach. But most of it is barren. People like to congregate and play with each other. Watching people is part of the joy of this trip. There is plenty of solitude to be had with a 10 minute walk in either direction. But here, today, there is a surf party.

More pics here