The Kiwi Bach

“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.”
Jeanne Moreau  French actress, singer, screenwriter and director. 1928 –

Here in New Zealand, it’s summer.  Well, so far this year it has been so disappointing.  A few good days leading up to Christmas; a fabulous Christmas Day (well here in Wellington anyway) but since then it has been truly awful.  Rain, gale force winds and more rain.  So waking up today to sunshine was a surprise.

Many people are on holiday – Christmas and New Year are when most offices and services close down and families head off to the beach to their holiday homes.

AA sign Kiwi Bashes

In the North Island of New Zealand, older holiday homes are called baches (my guess is because husbands were left as bachelors to look after themselves while wives and children enjoyed life at the beach but Wikipedia suggest it is short for bachelor pad). In the South Island, they are referred to as cribs.  I don’t know why this is so.


Baches and cribs are generally quite basic.  Many have grown like Topsy.   Our next door neighbours, who are also our close friends, have a batch about 75 kms from home and we were invited for the day. The one we visited on Saturday had started life as an army hut and been transported to the beach. Over the years it has been divided into a living room cum kitchen, one bunkroom, a bathroom and a lavatory.  Recently it has had a lean-to added giving it a separate dining room, with one side open to the elements.  One can close it up with a plastic screen that rolls up out of the way when not needed.  Life in those seaside areas off the beaten track is very simple.  Children run free and as everyone knows everyone else, nobody has to worry where the children are.

Saturday, dawned bright without any rain and it just happened to be the annual “Boat Day” at that beach.  It is such a long time since I had been in such a simple yet lovely setting that of course, we had to walk the 100 or so yards to the riverbank to sit and watch. We saw people of all ages, and all walks of life I guess, simply enjoying themselves.  The river running into the sea made a great place for canoe races.  Single canoes, two-person canoes, blow up canoes and even a rowboat was brought into play to win prizes.  There were races for children, races for teenagers and races for anyone and everyone.  What fun that was to see people enjoying the simple pleasures of being with friends and making new ones.

Ready to go 2

A sausage sizzle had been set up on the far bank, accessed over a rickety bridge, and was doing a great trade with sausages slapped between slices of white bread selling for $1.20.  Well, children having fun with each other are not gourmands.

To 04.01.14 002

We, however, were treated to a lovely lunch on a table set up under the trees.  A whole smoked salmon, salads and fresh bread washed down with a cold wine were perfect.  Desert of fruit and ice cream was served following which we all vowed we were too full for coffee and Christmas cake.

A;ong the riverbank

Then it was determined that a walk was in order.  We walked over the rickety bridge where fortunately there were no trolls to scare us, onto the bank on the other side of the river.  Most of the competitors had retired for lunch or to change into dry clothes following a dunking in the river.  So we had an uninterrupted stroll along the riverbank down to the seashore and then over the dunes back to the bach.

Deserted landscape

The area was the scene of fierce fighting between the Maoris (the indigenous people) and the invading British bent on colonising the land and its inhabitants.  In this the British were unsuccessful.

So another lovely summer day came to a close.  Yesterday Sunday, it rained all day here but today has been beautiful.  Tomorrow’s forecast?  Rain in the afternoon so we have to make the most of any lovely day that comes our way.

And now to all my friends in the US who are being buffeted by strong gales and heavy snowfalls, my thoughts are with you.  Love and hugs from the other side of the world.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh









18 responses to “The Kiwi Bach

  1. Gorgeous pictures that will provide great reminders of a nice day.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  2. now and then we get a perfect day – just to remind us that perfect days do exist, but are special and to be treasured, Glad you had one, Judith xx


  3. Thanks for sharing your lovely weather with us!


  4. It looks like you had a great day! You’re right – we do have to make the most of lovely days when they happen.


  5. I’m a HUGE fan of the beach, so your visit sounds lovely. What a wonderful day. Fortunately, the weather here in Ecuador is lovely. It’s summer here, too. I need to call my mother in the US and check on her and the cold.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


    • i Kathy. I hope all is well with your mother. What ghastly weather they are having in the US. Our summer here has not been great but at least we get the odd lovely days, such as today and the one I wrote about. No snow and storms. Take care. Love from NZ. 🙂


  6. sounds like a truly marvelous day and a lovely meal, eaten outdoors always seems so special. Happy 2014 – may it be a year of joy and much blessing,


    • Thanks Joss. I have been dilatory in responding to comments in the past couple of weeks. Making the most of good days (when they come) and sharing outdoor meals with good friends. I hope 2014 has started well for you and your sweetie and will continue for the remainder of the year. 🙂


  7. You live in such a beautiful country.


    • Yes we are so lucky. I have just spent some time at a beach some distance north from here and shall be sharing some of the gorgeous photos I took. Belatedly I wish you a happy new year. 🙂


  8. What a lovely summer day and great pictures too. Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂


    • Yes Uta, it was close to being perfect. Unfortunately we are not having the best summer here so we are making the most of those days that do measure up. I hope 2014 is working out to be good for you and your husband. Best wishes from the other side of the ditch. 🙂


  9. Thank you so much, Judith. We wish you bright and happy days! 🙂


  10. Pingback: Another Year Begins | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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