Family Field Trip: Pauatahanui Inlet
The Oh Waily family are very familiar with the Pauatahanui Inlet as we drive past it at least once a fortnight on the way north to Paekakariki Beach or much further north to visit family. I have been promising myself that we would stop and walk the reserve paths one day, as the variety of bird life is plainly visible even from a speeding car.
Today we were heading to Paekakariki to play on the beach. Sadly Ms Oh Waily didn’t do her homework on the tides before setting out, so instead we sat on the beach promenade and watched the large rolling waves come in charging like white stallions. Following a bit of sea-spray adventure and an in-car picnic lunch, we turned back around and headed home again. This time, finally, stopping at the entrance to Pauatahanui Inlet reserve.
As this was an impromptu visit I shall apologise in advance for the quality of the photos that follow. We made do with the camera on the mobile phone.
I must admit to being slightly concerned that my two little people would find the walk boring and that I’d end up being a pack horse to two little people complaining to me about having to walk so far. I was pleasantly and happily surprised that they walked the whole kilometre and a bit without a peep.
I recommend you wear wellies or similar if you are planning on doing these walks. Nothing was under water when we walked, but one area definitely sank a bit. And soggy grass is never that much fun to walk through without some waterproof shoes anyway.
And now I am the one bringing up the rear. No time for photographs, lets get on, there might be something really interesting just around this corner. Come on…
And yes there was something interesting. A boardwalk to the hide.
And once we reached the hide we could just see across the way a number, and variety, of the birds promised by the information board at the beginning of the walk. Sorry that this photograph is so poor, apparently the camera phone is not too slick at long distance shots.
Then, just when I thought that long distance viewing was all we were going to get, around the corner come three swans. Miss Oh spotted them, so that was wonderful. She was so excited when she saw them coming. So naturally we needed to take photographs of them.
The photograph doesn’t really give you a good idea of how close they actually swam. Master Oh squealed a bit at one point and they picked up the pace and paddled away to the others. One took off, which was quite interesting to see close up. A shag came across from the group for a short visit before diving and disappearing.
The kids asked to go soon after. So we did. Miss Oh was all keen to do the other walk straight away, but Master Oh was definitely flagging by the last hundred metres when he asked to be carried over the soggy grass. Bless him. Then he wanted to get down and walk the other track. But by the time we reached the fork in the track I had convinced both of them that we could come back and walk the other way another day. They seemed happy enough with that in the end.
Now all I need to do is learn a bit about the seasonal cycle of the birds, as well as buy us some good field guides for the littlies to use on these walks.
Where have you been with your children lately?