So far this year I have had the pleasure of experiencing small town New Zealand, from a South Island town that doesn’t have a Macdonalds, to a small fishing village that doesn’t have a dairy.

Ngawi, the dairy-less village, and surrounding area is rich in history, both in Maori oral history, (one landmark here is called Kupe’s sail) and early European whaling and settler history.

It’s very soothing here in a strange way – rugged, tempestuous, isolated and peaceful. The expansive coastline and seascapes provide breathtaking sunsets. The beauty is very restful, the force of the coastal weather reminds us how small we really are and subject to the hand of God. The peace may be attributed to the absence of decent cell phone coverage, maybe also the lack of crowds and development. We are surrounded by undeveloped landscape, gravel roads, fishing boats, bare feet and crab pots. Everyone knows everyone else; visitors and holiday makers are obvious by dress and manner.

The closest shop is a Four Square in Pirinoa, 45 minutes away where you can get a mussel pie. Yeuck. We are here to swim, snorkel, scuba, fish, sit in the sun, eat, drink and generally be merry, rest, regenerate, renew, and attempt to beat the 8 year olds at Monopoly. We may have our work cut out for us.


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