Today we decided to drive up to Farewell Spit (or close to it) and go to Wharariki Beach, which is actually over on the top of west coast, on the Tasman Sea; another nice drive, partly along the coast of the Cook Straight. We crossed several creeks (most with one lane bridges, where people were fishing with really big nets that were like a combo cage/net.
The 20 minute walk from the carpark to the beach is though farmland, over a few stys and past sheep with lambs in tow. The beach is nice, though quite wild and not suitable for swimming; lots of warning signs about sinkholes and wild seas. It wasn’t as windy as we expected and we did see a couple of seals. We were unlucky enough to have a family of about 20 people turn up just after we did and a couple of the kids (unintentionally) frightened off one seal that was fairly close – just across the creek. Luckily they didn’t hang around for long and we did see another couple of seals playing around and sunning on one of the big rocks a bit further out to sea.
On our way back we stopped in to the Mussel Inn in Onekaka. It’s a very rustic pub/brewery that appeared to only sell beer and soft drink that it brews itself. It came recommended in a ‘Best of New Zealand’ guide. They also serve lunch but we’d already eaten the nibblies that we took along with us.
After a visit to the supermarket and a cuppa back at the cabin we walked down to the beach and along it to the info board about the little blue penguins that come ashore here. It seems that we’re not here at quite the right time of year to see them and while they were once common, they are not so common along this area anymore because of the increase in people in the area.
We ate tea out on the deck and watched the hedgehog waddle past and down the yard. I guess it has a burrow somewhere down the other end of the property.