It was already dusk when we arrived, and the sun was setting as we found the beach for the first time. Through a gap in the hills it appeared, a small river snaking its way to the sea; and it was there that the wind hit us.
I hadn't seen many beaches like this in New Zealand before; the hard surface felt more like icy snow to walk on, sometimes strong enough to support your weight, other times fragmenting underfoot.
Even coming from years in Wellington, the wind on this beach is what sticks with me - the drifting, blowing sand constantly skating across the surface, and these tiny, tiny dunes (above), each holding on until a gust - or a foot - broke them off, and sent them scattering.
I can't recall now whether it was a storm arriving or departing - I feel like there were a number of stormy days on this vacation, but this may have been the end of one - but the light was amazing out there on the beach. I'm sure my parents were keen to get back to the hotel just to get out of the wind, but I needed one more photo of the clouds, the sand, the river, the light.
We went back for a walk in the morning, when things had calmed down a little; but really, the wind was still blowing, as you can see from the haze in the distance (below). Still - a gorgeous part of the country, and one I'd be glad to visit again.