Saturday, 23 March 2013

Rustic Farmyard- Kirita Bay

After 3 nights we are about to leave one of what I’m sure is going to be our more interesting sites. This is the NZMCA lowcost park over property that we were wanted to stop at in the pouring rain the other day when we came up the coast. We liked the look of it and decided to come back here, mind you on first impressions we wondered if we’d made the right decision. The road down to this beautiful bay is rather steep & narrow but Marie, our host, told us on the phone ‘no problems, our laden sheep trucks come & go all the time’ & it wasn’t that bad although everyone we’ve met down here is a little afraid of the return journey especially the 2wd vehicles &/or meeting another vehicle on the way down. Stopping & starting 4 times to open & close gates doesn’t help either, especially the vans that only have one person in them.
And Marie was right, we managed fine. There was one other fifth-wheeler already parked up (they had brought their large dog & two parrots on holiday with them!) and with the direction of little signs we found our way through the mass of retired farm junk, buildings & machinery to the beach front. 

The Welcoming Committee
We did meet George, Marie’s husband on the way down & he directed us to park along the garden fence at the back of the site so the smaller campervans could park along the front when & if they arrived later in the day. Another benefit of us not being in a hurry & travelling short distances is we get to a new site late morning/early afternoon and have the pick of spots.
The “garden fence” was a rickety old farm fence that had in a previous life surrounded the holding yard of an equally rusty & rundown cowshed.  It now enclosed a large vegetable patch at the end of its summer growing season although there was a row of kumara (sweet potato) coming along nicely for winter. The local turkey family & a few blackbirds were sampling the tomatoes & many of the pumpkins were half eaten. Obviously the netting draped over the pumpkin patch did not work although it must have slowed the turkeys down a bit; I rescued a young turkey chick at one stage who was trussed up like, well, a turkey. He’d been doing a few backward & forward rolls trying to catch up with his mother & sibling when they took off without him.

We lined up nice & straight along the fence leaving enough room to open the slide-out, it wasn’t until we sat down at the table and there right outside our dining room window were 3 large piles of cow dung! Put there to fertilise the garden for the next season I’m assuming but right now sitting steaming away in the hot afternoon heat, smelling very high & attracting flies from all directions. But then along came the farm chooks which over the 3 days we’ve been here have quickly demolished & scattered each pile, scratching, pecking & clucking their way through finding lots of tasty grubs & seeds on the way. The highlight for me though were the family of quail, eight cocks & one very pretty hen, that came in the late afternoon to do the same. Fantastic! What gorgeous wee birds they are with fabulous feather detail, something I’ve not seen up close for awhile as they are quite timid birds.
As the afternoon wore on other campervans & buses trickled in & found their positions. It wasn’t too large an area but everyone was very mindful of not blocking other’s views. By nightfall there were ten buses, vans & fifth-wheelers parked up. There were about the eight on the second night and last night seven vans of various types, 3 tents, 6 fizz boats & 22 fisher-men & women from Papamoa. The farm has a bach (holiday cottage) in the corner of the bay where quite a few of them slept. They were quick to apologise for any noise they were going to make last night but in fact we didn’t hear a thing, probably because we were making our own noise with 2 couples across the way. I mean how could you not join in when one of the buses had this number plate and there was a beautiful sunset to watch.
We will have to keep an eye on our evening entertainment as it would be very easy to get into the happy-hour routine & while there’s nothing wrong with that when you’re on holiday for a week or so we wouldn’t like to make a habit of it every night of the week for the next year or so!
One evening after he’d mustered the lambs down to the woolshed just behind the camp site(he was dosing them the next day), George stopped by for a chat along with the farm dogs who waited patiently while he drank a beer & told us about the farm. He was the seventh generation to farm the large station and times have & still are very tough. I asked him when he had stopped milking, “November, 1979” he said matter-of-factly; I’m not sure whether he was so exact about the date because he was pleased or sad about that fact. The very hilly & steep land didn’t seem to me to be very suitable for dairying. They now just run sheep & beef. The motorhome park brings in a little more income & I wonder why more farmers aren’t doing this as it’s a relatively easy way to diversify and provide some fantastic overnighting opportunities for motorhomers. With the amount of coastline NZ has there are sure to be hundreds of accessible private bays like Kirita Bay.

I climbed up the hill behind us one evening to catch this old gnarly Puriri tree & pump shed in the good light of the late afternoon sun, an added bonus was the house cow & calf enjoying the view as well.

We are beginning to learn that you can never judge a book by its cover while living life on the road, we had a most wonderful stay & thoroughly enjoyed our visit.


  1. Now this is a good one to mark in our camp book. Thanks niece, keep up the good work finding new camping spots for us to visit at some stage.

    1. Kirita is a great spot & you'd be able to bring Raz too.


Thanks for taking the time to comment, it's much appreciated.