In the week before Christmas, we settled into our house in Akaroa, up the road from St Helen’s. There were 4 bedrooms, a full kitchen, 2 TV’s and a cracking verandah out the front for dinner (and plenty of other meals) each day. It was a coastal town with a beach, where we enjoyed walks, fishing and jumping off the jetty. There were sand dunes for afternoon fun.
There were enough little shops to pick up a few last minute pressies and a $2 shop from which we bought supplies to decorate our house. We took our chance to go with a totally out there theme – beach meets winter wonderland! We found a white tree and plenty of blue beachy decorations, with an icicle on top! – It said “cold weather by the beach.” In a fabulous coincidence, the girls put together a Christmas Eve dance to “Winter Wonderland.”
Amongst the preparations for Christmas, we had time to fit in a little sightseeing – incredible really, considering what our life is usually like at this time of year. To the north was the Bay of Fires. The sand stretched out past orange, lichen-covered rocks to the blue sea beyond.
It was fairly spectacular and we enjoyed rock hopping, beach walking and even a little wading.
The kids loved just playing with their old friends at last.
After our first off road track for a while, Eddystone Point boasted a great lighthouse.
The wind was high…and the kids were crazy.
A second excursion during the week took us to the Freycinet Peninsula. Optimistically we selected the Wineglass Bay – Hazards Beach Circuit walk. 11kms, 6 kids, packed lunch.
A steep track to Wineglass Bay at the beginning gave us a stiff dose of reality, but the view was lovely.
Although it is possible to make out a kind of wine glass shape to explain the name of the bay, it turns out that Wineglass Bay has a much more sinister moniker. Once a place where whales were dragged into the bay and slaughtered, it ran with blood giving the water the appearance of wine. On the beach itself, we saw bluebottles. We had high hopes for a swim, but decided (foolishly as we later repented) to wait for Hazards Beach for a dip. We also followed up our research from WA and decided that no – the sand was not as white as that at Lucky Bay.
The weather cheered up as we walked and we made it to Hazard’s Beach. Unfortunately the bluebottles were in plague preportions on this side of the isthmus. No swim. High whingeometer reading.
The last part of the walk was long and undulating. Hot and tired, the adults did make it to the end with a real sense of satisfaction. We followed up with a swim in the Southern Ocean (minus bluebottles) and fish and chips in the car on the way home and suddenly the kids felt a real sense of satisfaction too!
A seaside week was over all too soon and we found our time in the East drawing to a close.