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When I think about going back to New Zealand, Whitianga is the place I most want to be. Our family has a bach, or holiday home there, and we savored the many childhood weeks each summer we were able to spend enjoying the area.

The beaches around Mercury Bay are most dear to me, and we dedicated a lot of time right across the road from our bach, building sand castles, swimming and catching the baby flounder and crab under “the bridge”.

Beach right across the road from our bach

Beach right across the road from our bach

When not playing in sand and sea, we spent hours hiking in the native forest and splashing and catching creatures in the creek running behind the bach.

Mud Eel caught in the creek behind the bach

Mud Eel caught in the creek behind the bach

A short walk along the beach or road, depending on our mood, would bring us to Old Mother Browns creek (not sure if thats the official name!!), where, if we were on the beach we would wade across, and depending on the tide, would get either a little or a lot wet, and where this past Spring Break, our kids had a great time swimming, and paddling around in an inflatable row-boat.

old mother browns creek

– Old Mother Browns Creek

Whitianga has a deepwater harbor, with many boats coming and going – often returning from a deep sea fishing expedition. Another favorite past time during my childhood summers, was fishing off the wharf – although we would rarely catch anything exciting enough to eat, unlike the boats we would see unloading their bountiful cargo of snapper and kawawai.

Young fisherman

Young fisherman

Cousins on the playground

Cousins on the playground right beside the wharf

Also close to the wharf, are the prime pipi digging grounds, and we make sure to collect these abundant shellfish each time we are at the beach house.

Wading out to dig Pipis

Wading out to dig Pipis

 

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