» Travelogue New Zealand: Doubtless Bay, Karikari Peninsula, Maitai Bay

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Oct 19

A beautiful campground at Maitai Bay on Karikari Peninsula

Waking up at Coopers Beach. It's cloudy again. I walk on the beach which has become much wider at low tide. I walk up and down, take photos and collect some shells. There's a swarm of little Silvereyes and Bar-tailed Godwits in the pohutukawa tree tops. Meanwhile, Ralph is talking to a gardener who works here and is content with both his job and money. The gardener raves about the soon to be blooming New Zealand Christmas trees (pohutukawa) and tells us that it's going to be very hot here in a few weeks.

Coopers Beach Morning at Coopers Beach · more Doubtless Bay pictures more pictures

I hardly want to leave this place, but we decide to head for Matai Bay, a twin bay on Karikari Peninsula (SH10 then Inland Rd). Right at the bay is a large green DOC campsite. The fee is $8 pp. You simply put it into an envelope, throw it into a box at the entry and fix a note on your car. There's no office at most of the DOC campgrounds. The site is basic, there's no power or hot water but we don't mind. We like it at once and park on a lush meadow with shrubs and trees all around. Except for our van, there's only a giant Bedford bus.

At once we are welcomed by a boy on a bike who wants to know if there are any children with us. As we have no children, we gain favour by admiring Harry's secret place and some tricks with his bike.

Karikari Peninsula – Maitai Bay Harry at the camping site · more Karikari Peninsula pictures more pictures

Next we explore Matai Bay which is said to be the most beautiful bay in Karikari. We have no doubt about that. White powdery sand, rocks, little islands and headlands and on top of this there's a very special light which is so intense! Like the weather, the light conditions are changing all the time.

The evening light and the sunset are fabulous. While photographing ,I get to know Ted, our neighbour from the Bedford bus, and a woman from Mönchengladbach in Germany. She's been travelling and living in her car for 3 months and she's a little envious of us when I tell her we've already seen some dolphins (which she has not – so far). Ted is a freelance writer with a good sense of humour. He's been living in the bus with his wife Sally and the boy Harry since they sold their house in the South Island a few years ago. Now they are moving people and say there is nothing they miss.

Karikari Peninsula – Maitai Bay Sunset at Maitai Bay · more Karikari Peninsula pictures more pictures

Tonight we admire heaven's tent so lucid and with constellations we don't see at home.

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