As a writer, I’m fond of visiting the beach (or any new surrounding for that matter) for inspiration and space to write. Waikanae Beach was that place this past week. Although I didn’t have internet access, I had plenty of time to play and write. The beach here is on the west coast of the North Island and about one hour from Wellington if the traffic is light. It’s also next to Kapiti Island (see below), a pest-free reserve also known for it’s delicious cheese. We spent our days playing in the sea, on the bike trails, and cooking delicious meals.
We arrived relatively late in the evening the first day but I was happy to discover the town had a New World grocery nearby. We racked up on the week’s goodies and enjoyed a lovely dinner in the bach’s top porch that faces the ocean. You could see the Guy Fawkes fireworks displays from up there. And a few stars.
We also enjoyed some sea kayaking and discovered the bikes the following day. We didn’t know there were trails but to our surprise, the Kapiti Coast Bike Trail was close by and took us through some dirt trails that end on the sand. We biked along the coast back to the bach and found some secret spots to peep a sunset the next day.
The Kapiti Coast Bike Trail signs are easy to spot and take you on some fun adventures. You sometimes have to share the trail with horses but we only encountered other bike riders. We followed the river through some forest and farmland and noticed lots of fishermen wading the river waters for whitebait. We even ran across an ostrich farm. Spotting an ostrich in the middle of nowhere sometimes feel like a Jurassic Park moment. Another interesting spot on the ride was a riverbed with a spooky looking cemetery of driftwood. We gathered some wood to build a small dock and decided to be on our way.
Our bike trip ended at the local Foursquare (another popular grocery or “dairy”) for ice cream. Side note: New Zealand knows their dairy and their ice cream is delicious. It’s the perfect treat after a long walk, bike ride, swim, and I’m sure to enjoy it as a snack between every meal (practically). Once we were home, we wanted to play croquet in the yard but could only find the badminton set. And instead of setting up a net, the sun was setting so we put our headlamps on and tossed the shuttlecock around a few times. Then enjoyed another amazing dinner under the stars.
On our final day, and after sufficiently filling my wetsuit with sand from a boogie board turned skim board ride, we hit up the tavern next door called Waimea Cafe for local ginger beers and some reading and book club discussion.
The beach here reminded me a bit of the Oregon coast with it’s amazing sunsets and gravelly sand. We will definitely be back for more adventures soon.