Wharariki Beach Isolated and Beautiful

Wharariki Beach Golden Bay

Article submitted by chasann
January 6th, 2010

After repeated comments from many folk that we should go to this beach just down the road from Farewell Spit we finally did it. The wind was strong so we changed our car park thus affording us a little shelter as we exited the car and wondered about the wisdom of our decision before embarking on the 15 minute walk to get to the beach. The car park was almost full and a few vans were in the overflow car park so assumed all must be well and off we went. Once on the other side of the hill the walk was pleasant, no wind at all which lulled us into a false sense of security. On exiting the cover of some trees and the hill, the full force of the wind took us by surprise as did the beauty of the beach below which was a visual feast.

Wind had sculptured the cliffs, arched rocks provided a great backdrop for those willing to brave the sandblasting, and the patterns left by this vicious wind at the foot of the sand hills was beautiful, so many shades of grey. Vegetation was on a definite lean, the greenery a stark contrast to the foreground.

The towel I had the foresight to go back and get a godsend as I used it to shelter me from the sand storm, my husband assuring me we were re-enacting Desert Storm! At times we stopped in our tracks by the intensity of the wind. I smiled as I watched one young Mum shelter her young from the blast. Not so the large sea lion who lay on the sand and appeared to have been there for some time. With his rear end to the wind, the sand had built up to the point it was covering his nether regions. Only the blink of an eye confirming he was indeed alive. His mates had more sense, they were basking in the sun on the rocks.

Not too many people braved it onto the beach, perhaps they didn't want their bodies to be sculptured or should I say sand blasted but I'm glad I took 4 giant steps down the sand hill to the beach and many many more smaller steps coming back up in the face of the sand laden wind. A real experience and one I am pleased to have braved.

I'm also glad that I didn't view this area on line before going so had no expectations other than the word of others that I would love it. No one prepared me for the wind which I am told can be common, we saw many people turn back and others not venture down on to the beach. Next time and there will be a next time I'll take a camera, go on a low tide when it is not windy and will take a picnic. Mind you had I taken a camera on this occasion I feel my photography of people versus the elements could have been a competition winner.

A stop at the Old School Cafe on our return for a drink, a bite to eat and a little relaxation in convivial company, with games and good reading material if you chose wasn't too bad either. I just wonder why we left it for so long before doing.

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