Kairakau Beach

Catching up…

Leaving Napier, we travel through Clive, turn left into Mill Rd toward Haumoana, and then right into Tuki Tuki Rd.

It’s a scenic drive.

This is wine country, and we pass several well known wineries, go through an avenue of trees, and look up at Te Mata Peak on the right.

Soon we pass the turn off to Ocean Beach south of Cape Kidnappers, and before long cross the Tuki Tuki River.

Then past the Waimarama Beach turn off.

The landscape changes from neat rows of vines to sheep country…

We’re now on Kahuranaki Rd, following roughly the same path as the Tuki Tuki River for a time, before it changes direction, while we continue on towards the small community of Elsthorpe.

There’s not much to see in Elsthorpe but we did find this lovely little church…

Leaving Elsthorpe we turn onto Kairakau Road, and before long we arrive at our destination – Kairakau Beach.

Kairakau Beach

What a delightful spot!

Lloyd and Sue who we’d met in Napier NZMCA Park had mentioned this was one of their favourite beaches down this coast. We were discussing our plans after leaving Napier, not quite sure which were the best places to stay down the coast. Thanks for your advice guys.

The Mangakuri River flows out to sea at Kairakau…

Looking for the Kairakau Beach camp CAP (charges apply parking #3890), we carry on past the campground on the right.

We pass a handful of holiday homes on the left.

And then we see the sign.

The iron maiden is just behind the sign. Proceeds go to the Kairakau Development fund.

Campers must have a current CSC (certificate of self-containment).

It was Thursday, and we were to discover later that we arrived at the right time. Weekends here can be quite crowded.

We find a park and settle in… We are soon joined by another caravan next door. Kevin and Jill, we are to learn, come here regularly.

The towering cliffs behind the camping area are very impressive…

And the beach is lovely…

I’m not one for getting up early for sunrises generally, but walking on the beach in the evening, well, that’s my favourite thing…

There are several rocky outcrops just off shore, and lots of seaweed on the beach in low tide.

We see the occasional ship out at sea, enroute to the Port of Napier.

This evening a couple of lads on motorcycles are tearing up and down the beach, disturbing the peace, but obviously having fun…

At the northern end of the beach huge rocks sit precariously as if they’ve tumbled down…

You need to walk around here at low tide, and Jill told me there’s a small waterfall, but I didn’t go that far.

There are benches all along the reserve area opposite the holiday homes to sit and enjoy the view, but this one caught my eye.

It’s unmissable…

A colourful piece of mosaic art by Barbara Riach.

Next morning

We have coffee before we head off for the day in the ute to explore further. Our neighbours Kevin and Jill are going to keep an eye on the caravan for us, though they assure us it will be quite safe here…

to be continued…

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