Monday, August 6, 2012

Utea Park

Te Oneroa a Tohe (the long beach of Tohe) really does look to be 90 miles long when you step on to it at a point where it stretches away into the distance both north and south.  Apparantly in the days when travel was by horseback an average horse could travel 30 miles in a day before needing a rest.  So, because it took 3 days to travel from one end to the other, it was called 90 Mile Beach.    They didn't take into account the slower pace of the horses walking in sand - the beach is really 55 miles (88 km) long.  

Looking south:

Looking north.  That is Chris off in the distance.

It just looks like an endless stretch of sand flanked on one side by the Tasman Sea and sand dunes leading to the Aupouri Forest on the other.  But there is plenty to look at.  There is the occasional seashell that is different from those we are used to seeing on the east coast.  The sea weed is different and the kelp impressive.  

The only drift wood is the big stuff left by the last big storm.  But some of it has been there long enough for Jayden to find it and leave his mark.

 There weren't many birds, just one flock of gulls.

And then there are the little mysteries.  There weren't a lot of these things but every now and then there would be a bunch.  Some bunches only had three 'things', some had a dozen or more.

Thanks, CJ, for identifying yesterdays kelp eating things.  Jumping kelp bugs describes them perfectly. What do you think these are?

For someone seeking a quiet place to ponder the grandeur and beauty of nature there can be no better place, with only the roar of the sea to distract you.  The beach was a bit busier at low tide with mussel spat harvesting going on but at high tide there was glorious solitude.

We stayed in a little cabin at Utea Park.  There was no power but a gas stove for cooking and plenty of hot water - what more do you need?

When I lifted my head while laying on the bed and reading on Friday afternoon, this is what I saw.

And, at the end of the day as darkness gathered, rather than turning on a light, we sat and watched The Nature Show.

 I certainly don't need anything more than that.


  1. You are at the top of the game today. One five and six are my favourites.

  2. Wonderful, wonderful place. I still haven't 'done' 90 mile beach. That set of photos makes me feel quite homesick.

  3. Beautiful photos but, for the moment I'm beaten. I shall continue to try to identify them (and ask Helen and Ian!).

  4. Certainly looks like a good place if you feel a need of "getting away" from the usual buzz of life... Beautiful beach views.

  5. Oh my, what beautiful photos and what a wonderful place to unwind.
    We admire each of our homelands so much, we should do a houseswap some year. You could see Lake Tahoe and I could see Utea Park.
    Just beautiful!!

  6. I've loved all your posts about this stretch of beach. We have the Pacific Rim park and Long Beach, but they are easily accessible, and so the only way to stay on the beach is in a rather expensive resort hotel. I don't think I'd need anything more than light to read by, gas to cook on and that view!

  7. That place is just beautiful and it seems as though there is no one else there!

  8. Well, we are stumped but if you ever find out what those washed up things were Helen and I would love to know!


I love to know who's visiting. Leave me a sign!