Beach walking at Matai Bay

We last visited Matai Bay at the begining of our 2016 winter and agreed that we needed to come back and spend a little more time exploring the area.

To explore the area means that you really need to stay there so we threw the camping gear into the car and headed off for a few nights. Fortunately, it is little more than an hour’s drive. The camp is basic with very little in the way of facilities; long drop toilets and cold showers with no shops that sell provisions being very handy.

We have owned our current tent for three years but have never really mastered the art of erecting it satisfactorily. Ruth’s critical eye felt that we nailed it this time – the problem of course is that by the time we get around to camping again, we will have forgotten what the special ingredient was that worked so well last time – a downside of getting older.

The place was almost as deserted as during our winter visit but, the air and water were warmer, the days longer and walking the long but interesting beaches was a much more pleasant albeit tiring experience.

Matai Bay consists of two ‘half moon’ bays within a larger bay. The camp sits behind this beach.
Ruth striding it out along the larger of the Bays.
There were extensive Pipi beds – each wave would uncover them and they would quickly set about burying themselves back into the sand.
This ‘pile’ of boulders seems so out of place on the beach  – some are perfectly split as if they had been dropped onto the beach from a great height.
After wandering through the surf we noticed that there were these nasties all over the place – we exited fairly quickly and decided against a swim.
A ‘driftwood pool’ was something a little different.
Ruth heads across the dunes to Karikari beach – so close yet so different to Matai Bay
Karikari beach was covered in shells and seaweed of all descriptons and there were birds everywhere.
This little Dotteral was anxious about my presence, obviously close to the nest. As I stopped to photgraph, it decided to get agressive and charge me – plucky little fellow.  We often encounter them on our beach walks, always in pairs and they will go to great lengths to draw you away from their nesting area.
We decided that it was probably a Lilly rather than an Orchid – added a splash of colur to the dunes.
A little bit of camping goes a long way these days.




  1. Gosh, we would have loved doing this outing with you! We’ve never seen a New Zealand dotterel – and the thought of seeing more wildflowers, shells, and sea creatures is really an enticement. Lucky you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We think that you would have really enjoyed this very remote but interesting spot. It has recently featured in the news here with the local Iwi placing a ban on fishing and shellfish gathering – will probably be even more spectacular in the future.


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