Monday, September 2, 2019


A final note from Okarito. It's home to landscape photographer Andris Apse. Click here for more

It was a lovely drive to Ross, another gold rush town.
New Zealand’s largest gold nugget 2.8 kgs (ed note. 6.17 pounds) was discovered in Ross. Sadly King George V to whom it was gifted, turned it into a tea service.

 Here's the map (click here to view if reading in email):

Camping is a daily lesson in flexibility. Things you can't control include weather, the journey, people, and the quality of the drinking water (much of this is also true of life in general). In Okarito, because of the enormous flood earlier this year, we had to boil our drinking water. No worries.

Check out this story on the end-of-March storm and flood that took out bridges and carried landfill contents down a river and onto 300 km of pristine West Coast beaches, including Okarito's, despoiling them with trash. The pictures are heartbreaking. We didn't see a shred of it, a testament to the Kiwi can-do clean-up attitude.

When we pulled into this campground outside of Ross, our eyes popped. Every once in a while, you land in a magical place.

Spot #1 is waterfront.

The mature flax provide privacy between campsites and also just all-around beauty.

Here's a quick video (click here to view if reading in email). Sorry for twirling...

The campground host told me the place had been renovated a couple years ago. As you've seen, its major asset is location, on the very edge of the Tasman Sea. But what makes it stand out further is the use of shipping containers for shared kitchen and bath.

I've read a lot of critique on these containers and why they're not suitable for homes and other living spaces, a notion put to rest here in the very serviceable camp kitchen.

Outdoor BBQ.

Toilets and showers get their own shipping container, as does the laundry.

Also on offer are container baches for staying the night.

A peek inside. They're pretty flash.

This one even has a wee kitchen and bathroom. Some of the smaller ones, I suspect, don't, sharing  the main bathhouse in true Kiwi holiday park fashion.

I especially like the the individual trash bins with solar-powered night light.

We walked another apparently endless West Coast beach this morning.

The detritus thrown up on these sands makes it feel otherworldly.

Back to the caravan for pan-fried gurnard on a bed of sauteed onions with mushrooms in cream, sweet potato, oranges, and avocado/red pepper/fermented cabbage salad. Happy campers.

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