cockles and a ride

7 December

Woke up with the surf in our ears. We were going horse riding on Wharariki beach. 24 Kilometres north of Collingwood we followed the coast towards Puponga – literally the furthest point north on the western side of the South Island. We met up with Gail and her horses. (Doug calls her as rough as a bear’s arse – a summary of a New Zealand gal – one of the boys!)

Initially we were given two rather sad looking creatures – so needless to say the ride started out very boring. I kicked myself into a sweating frenzy and eventually gave up. Luckily Gail had a bit of sense and quickly realized we could both ride so she swopped our horses on route. The fun started.


We cantered up and down rolling hills that eventually lead us to some dunes and finally, Wharariki (pronouned “fa-ra-riki”) beach. This remote stretch of beach is about three kilometres long and can only be reached by a footpath that takes about 20 minutes.

Here we were given free reign and Doug and I chased each other down the beach with my horse rearing and bucking all the way. A few lazy seals wallowed in shallow water and gave us barely a second look. Short of that the only company we had were seagulls.


About four hours later we were done. Tired and hungry we were shown in the direction of the Paddle and Crab Cafe. We collapsed onto their verandah and sampled the local cuisine – me with cockles and a glass of local wine and Doug with the local brewed beer and some venison sausage.

View from the Paddle and Crab below.


We spend the rest of the afternoon the real Sunday way – having an afternoon nap.

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