Monday, 18 August 2014

Kaiteri Snapshots

Kaiteri is what the locals call Kaiteriteri & I figured after 4 weeks we can just about be classed as locals. We talk over the fence to the regulars out walking for exercise, walking their dogs or just on their daily stroll along the waterfront to the shop. We know most of the camp ground regulars both employees & long term residents and can wave an acknowledgement to the water taxi & tour boat skippers as they pass by. Even the local birds know where they can get a daily hello (& a feed).

But the time has come for us to move on over the “hill” to Golden Bay for a few weeks so before we go I thought you might like to see some random snapshots from this wonderful little place called Kaiteri, a place that delivered exactly what we were looking for over winter; golden sand, calm waters, sunny days, rest & relaxation.

A bush walk behind the camp leads up to a lookout over Kaiteriteri estuary & bay. A massive amount of water funnels in and out under the bridge each tide movement, so much so that there are signs along the edge of the outlet stream warning of the sudden changes in depth & swift current.

And here’s a close-up of “Out There” parked on the front row at the Kaiteriteri Motor Camp.

This gentleman made regular visits to the beach, mostly after the weekend. The first time I saw him approaching from the far end of the bay I though there was a blind man coming as he swept his metal detector back & forward. And just to prove that we’re both silly as each other, David thought so too. And while he hasn’t found too much in his quest for fortune he told us he'd found a few rings & coins. I liked his nifty “flour sifter”.

Another day in paradise.

Birds around camp- In the afternoons, the big fat wood pigeons (kereru) flew out to sun themselves in the camp trees. Gulls & sparrows cruised up and down the beach looking for easy handouts. A Little Shag dries out on a post in the estuary.

And then there were the cheeky birds. This thrush is a camp favourite, like a little shadow it followed us about as we moved around the vehicles, darting out from underneath as soon as we stepped outdoors. No matter where you were it would suddenly appear right beside your feet. Many times it waited at the bottom of the stairs giving a short peep for a bit of food.  If it was off digging for worms and a motorhome arrived it rushed over to make friends.

Then along came the ducks, just two, this female & her mate who most of the time waited for her on the road. They wandered up from the beach late in the afternoon (or were waiting first thing in the morning), luckily she only realised there was food to be had in the last few days otherwise I’d have had to ignore her. Because as soon as I fed her the sparrows arrived and after the sparrows came the gulls, dozens of them!

I know, I know, feeding the birds is a bad habit because they reward your generosity with poop! All over the step & the mat much to David’s annoyance. I know this but I can’t help myself and other than the thrush I only started to feed the others in the last few days & we’ll be gone soon. Who could say no to this cute little fellow? “Please sir, I want some more?”

In a small grove of beech trees on the way to one of the lookouts there were many birds in a feeding frenzy, including this tui. They were flitting about all through the trees, running up & down the trunks and chasing others away. They were feeding on the tiny droplets of honeydew produced by the beech scale insect which have blackened the trunks of the trees, it's similar to sooty mould. Honeydew plays a vital role in the food supply for a range of native bird and insect species. The honeydew drops have a high sugar content and are an important energy source for birds over winter.
And if I could take one thing with me when we leave Kaiteriteri it would be the pink phone booth on the left! I’d stick it upright on the storage box at the back or squeeze it through the door and make it into the shower box. A two in one; a shower on the inside, communication on the outside. This my friends was our number one best gadget while parked up here at Kaiteri, a free wifi zone, delivering one whole gigabyte each per day for our phones & computers. Considering I use approximately 5GBs a month costing around $75, having a free zone so close was a very big deal.

But best of all it was delivered to the inside of our parked up van without us having to sit outside the booth as we would usually have to do. The only problem was that we were on the outer edge of it’s range and as motorhomes came & went and parked up on the front row between us & the phone booths the strength came & went. We had to move about the van holding the computer up in the air or work off the kitchen bench to pick it up sometimes.

Frosty feet- Winter lesson #1; make sure you put your crocs in the shoe box otherwise come morning, you’ll have a very cold (& slippery) walk to the showers. Lesson #2 stand your crocs up when you get back, to drain the water, otherwise you’ll have wet socks the next time you step back into them.

Our neighbours had a frosty start to their kayak tour, they were heading up to Abel Tasman Park for three days but had to wait for things to thaw before stowing away their food & sleeping bags.

And this would have to have been the heaviest frost we experienced while at Kaiteri, the same day as we headed to Flora Carpark & the snow.

And finally a photo for Dad. Hop frames near the turnoff to Kaiteri. When I was a child Mum & Dad did a tour of the South Island with some friends (and without us). Whenever we watched the home movie of their trip dad would say as they drove past the hops in Motueka “There’s my favourite plant”. It was much later on in life before I realised why!


  1. I have to say exceptional photos and weather for Kaiteri, love the upside down Tui , you'll love " the bay"

    1. Thanks Jimu, glad you enjoyed the "tour" of your local area, I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time in Golden Bay.


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