Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Seaside Bach - Whangapoua, New Zealand

Firstly I have to make a correction for Fridays Blog, it was not Matarangi I was going to stay, I knew I had heard the word but it was in reference to the nearest reasonable sized town. Kathy's bach is situated in Whangapoua which is not far from Matarangi but much smaller, prettier and more secluded. 

Kathy and her husband and myself set off late Friday afternoon on a 2.5 hour journey by car to their beach house. The last hour of the journey was on a very dark, extremely winding coastal road, with me popping peppermints as fast as I could to prevent me from throwing up all over their vehicle.  After a swap of seats with Kathy having to sit in the back and me in the front I started to feel a little less sick but was still looking forward to arriving in Whangapoua and having my feet firmly on the ground.

After almost 3 hours driving, we finally arrived in Whangapoua, it was dark and cold and I stumbled out of the car feeling rather light headed and dizzy from the winding road but thankful to see the outline of Kathy's beach house, by outline, I mean I knew it was there, but there were no street lights and it was very dark and not exactly easy to distinguish. I realised It would have been a great trip down in daylight and although I was already apprehensive about feeling sick on the return journey even though I had just arrived,  I knew I could  least look forward to the beautiful NZ scenery in daylight on the return and the possibility of spotting some Orcas in the Firth of Thames.

Whangapoua is a beautiful secluded little place, I say "place" as its not a "town" or a "village" just a quiet beach surrounded by hills and forests and only a tiny population, mainly being Kiwi Bach's.  I believe Kathy said 45 people live down there if I am correct, the remaining are weekend visitors to their bach's.
For those of you who are not from New Zealand, a Kiwi Bach is a NZ term for a small beach house,  not actually a "Kiwi" which is a small flightless bird.  For some strange reason we don't call ourselves New Zealander's, we call ourselves "Kiwis" which when I analyse it, makes no sense at as we are not small flightless birds, although, actually I could probably admit to being "small" and "flightless" myself. Nonetheless we term these houses Bach's.  A bach can be from a tiny cottage to a mansion but still its called the "batch" if its considered a holiday home.

Kathy's place is lovely, restful in shades of white and I can imagine that it would be idyllic in summertime with the beach a few minutes walk away where you can swim safely, walk the white sands, fish or just relax under your sun umbrella with a good book.  There is a golf course in Matarangi which is shortish drive away and the people in Whangapoua are all very friendly and relaxed.  Kathy's neighbour popped over to kindly give Kathy some homemade sausages from a wild pig he had killed,  we ate them Saturday evening along with a delicious roast chicken and lots of roast veggies that Kathy had cooked, we all agreed they were yummy sausages. It seems wild pigs run a little amok in Whangapoua as friend who joined us for dinner was saying that her husband had accidentally run over a wild pig on the road but they didn't turn him into sausages as even their dog turned his nose up at the smell. I am happy to say I didn't see any other pigs apart from the one on my plate. 

We arrived back in Auckland not long ago, the return journey was pleasant, nice weather, good roads and beautiful scenery.  We were going to stop for some fresh mussels on the way home but unfortunately Kathy had forgotten the chilly bin but luckily we both have the convenience of a supermarket near our homes, still they are never the same as buying fresh from the fisherman. I never did see my Orca whales on the way back but I sat in the front of the car and ate nearly all their peppermints to fend off any car sickness and actually felt  no sickness and enjoyed what seemed far less than 3 hours on the way home.

I took some photos of Kathy's bach. Kathy is a very creative person and has made a lot of the wall art in her cottage, including the spiral of shells and a fabulous mirror where the frame  is made entirely out of small pieces of drift wood found on the beach which she painstakingly whitewashed each piece before gluing it onto a backing board.  Kathy has a real eye for detail and the pieces she has used in her cottage create a wonderful holiday atmosphere.  The bach was really pretty, very practical and was a perfect "home away from home".  I had a really pleasant time and look forward to going back there in the future, maybe in the summer when I won't have to pack my winter woollies.

Thanks Kathy for the weekend, I had a really lovely time. I hope you enjoy the photo collages I have put together of your the bach, its design and decor were perfect.

More photos of Kathy's Kiwi Bach can be seen on my Interior Design Page.

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