The land of sheep and chocolate

Sunday, October 29, 2006

At Kuku Beach

Kuku Beach is a wild place. There's no town at Kuku and at first view, there seems to be no beach at all. Leaving the road, you have to clamber across piles of washed up timber to the water. It's not the sea you reach, it's a shallow estuary, separated from the Tasman by a sandbar. You can hear the roar of the waves in the background but you can't see them.

All this was a bit of a surprise to us, who were expecting more vast empty stretches of sand, like you get up and down the rest of the coast. But Kuku Beach is a different kind of a place. Whilst its not exactly an unspoilt wilderness (there's a scrubby pine forest running along the back of the dunes rather than native bush), it has a real back to nature feel. There's ducks on the lagoon, birds twittering in the bushes and not many cars because they can't really get through the fallen tree obstacle course.

And there's hardly anyone around, unlike at Waitarere where the beach is road and the cars and quad-bikes are tootling past.

It's not deserted though and for the time being it has a unique attraction: a replica wigwam made of driftwood. It's big enough to sit in and a feature unlike any in my experience of beaches the world over. It must have taken a couple of schoolkids all day to knock it together.


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