Sunday, February 24, 2008

The coast road to Karitane

When you drive up up and over the hill north of Dunedin then down the other side to the coast you come to the village of Waitati. The little old church sits directly on Blueskin Bay.
 
On a summers day like this one the waters of Blueskin Bay are a light cobalt blue and glisten in the sun. I bought an icecream from the village store across the road from the church and licked it while I watched the tide recede leaving slicks on the tidal mudflats.
 
The picturesque coastal route leads along the northern shore of Blueskin Bay to the coast.
 

Turn the corner and suddenly you overlook a wild, wide, grey-sanded beach. Blueskin Bay mouths at the southern end of the beach. If you look very closely you can see flags and lifeguards.
 

The coastal road climbs and the views make you catch your breath. Thistledown floats through the air on the breeze.
 
The hills falls steeply to the sea below.
 
The cattle chew their cuds while they look at the view, or at the occasional photographer.
 
Then suddenly you are at the top of a hill among the horses, overlooking the settlement of Karitane. There is a look out here. Horses on one side, cows on the other and stunning views north and south. It takes a while to digest it all.
 
You drive on, down the hill, and along the flats, turn the corner and again you catch your breath as the serene calm waters of the river mouth suddenly appear before you.
 
From Karitane you can take the highway back to Dunedin. It is only 30 km. You can bypass the stunning scenery completely.

Sunday, February 10, 2008