November 8, 2015

New Zealand Giant Dunes

Te Paki Stream and the Giant Sand Dunes

Excited is how I felt when driving the 3km from the main road to the Giant Dunes, hoping to explore both the dunes and access Ninety Mile Beach. Arriving about 8:30 am there was a couple eating breakfast at a picnic table and a photographer returning to his car, otherwise empty in this expansive landscape. 

At the end of the dirt road I was confronted with whether or not to drive down a sandy bottom stream to access the beach. The option was intimidating, so I chose to be smart, park the car and walk. Ugh... Even though I hate defeat, this girl knows her limitations. 

Along the shore there was evidence of many birds that spent their morning looking for morsels. Some prints were 4 inches long, while others were merely three dots clustered together. 
The stream was shallow, only 4" at the deepest point, with a firm bottom of rich red sand that had various patterns sculpted in it. Gorgeous!

After walking for about 15 minutes I had yet to reach the ocean nor could I see it, so I climbed up one of the massive dunes. Taking small steps and being mindful of my recent sprained ankle, it took some effort to reach the point to where a glimpse of the Tasman Sea was present. 

With the dunes still towering above me and the sea so far in the distance I felt very small, very humble. I sat. While sitting I began to hear so much:

A slight breeze 
Trickle of the stream
Ocean waves crashing in the distance
Faint sporadic variety of bird calls 
A fly buzzing past
And at the same time it was almost silent. 

After a few moments the artist in me was anxious to take some playful photos. So off I went with a photographer's eye looking at angles and for subjects. 

With all this searching about the dunes were quite messy with the presence of my butt and scattered foot prints. However the evidence of my adventure was only fleeting, as Mother Nature would easily blow away all evidence of disturbances in her dunes so simply, making the elegant patterns complete once again. I just love that!

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