Beach Road MacMillan Reserve, Katikati

 Sometimes we take the beauty of the area we live in, for granted!  A couple of weeks ago, we were reminded of that beauty, enough to take our breath away.  The nature gifts that are there for us, day in, day out, but we are are too busy with worldly activities, to stop, to open our eyes and take it all in.  A 5 minute drive from our home is the Beach Road Harbour.  We often drive there to collect seaweed, but usually, we are there simply for the collection, quick to return to all the duties that await at home.

A view back to the harbour jetty - a concrete drive extending into the water, for launching of fishing vessels.  Note the people who almost appear to be walking on water!
A view back to the harbour jetty – a concrete drive extending into the water, for launching of fishing vessels. Note the people who almost appear to be walking on water!
 

This reserve (MacMillan Reserve) has a sealed parking area and basic public toilets overlooking the harbour and even allows Freedom Campers, as long as they stay only 2 nights and leave the place in a neat and tidy condition.  That is quite generous really – a million dollar view, a rugged toilet and all this for – well, nothing really!  I can think of many a camping sight that offers perhaps a better toileting and kitchen facility, with views of other camper vans, for a nightly fee of $16.50 P/P!    It is secluded and a great getaway freedom camp site. It is a great spot to wake up in, with a small grassy area and pohutukawa trees in full magnificent bloom in December/ January.   There is a walkway along the coast, on a mowed green grassy strip.   

The farthest end of the Beach Road Harbour Reserve looking toward Tauranga and the Kaimai mountain range.
The farthest end of the Beach Road Harbour Reserve looking toward Tauranga and the Kaimai mountain range.
For those of you out-of-towners, Katikati rocks! We have the murals, of course, but we also have the harbour, estuary, Uretara river (navigable), Bird Walk and Haiku Reserve.  Let us not forget to mention the fantastic community project, Kati KaiWay between Fairview and Gilfillan Roads. We have planted 48 (plus-some) fruit trees in a local reserve, so that locals and visitors can take a meander through this edible walkway and pick seasonal fruit, for free! There are Nashi pears, plums, feijoas, mandarins, oranges, almonds, lemons, persimmons and Chilean Guavas. Did I mention, they are organically maintained?!  It is maintained by a core group of volunteers.

Dead trees stand reaching into the sapphire blue sky.
Dead trees stand reaching into the sapphire blue sky.

But back to business…. MacMillan Reserve….it’s a beauty.  Well worth a drive to the end of Beach Road, and a little walk while breathing in all that fresh air!  As I mentioned before, we often go and harvest sea lettuce and sea grass for our compost bins.  The addition of seaweed adds a range of beneficial nutrients to your compost, as well as aerating it.

The few remaining pine trees huddled on the shore.
The few remaining pine trees huddled on the shore.
 

There is a line of old pine trees which may have originally been used as a wind break for the farmers near the shore, but have since been chopped down.  It’s also a great place to go and collect pine cones for fire starters.  Foraging is a great way to live sustainably, using what nature freely provides us.  

Tauranga Moana, with Matakana Island in the distance
Tauranga Moana, with Matakana Island in the distance
 
The Kaimais surround the jewel that's the Bay of Plenty
The Kaimais surround the jewel that’s the Bay of Plenty
 
Ephemeral Art; Beach Sculpture
Ephemeral Art; Beach Sculpture
Sea- eroded shore surrounds a little bay
Sea- eroded shore surrounds a little bay
The Beauty of our little Bay (of Plenty)
The Beauty of our little Bay (of Plenty)
Harvested cornfields and wide expanse of sky.
Harvested cornfields and wide expanse of sky.
The Big Blue Sky
The Big Blue Sky
Somebody's little mobile home.  Note the wind vane for power generation!
Somebody’s little mobile home. Note the wind vane for power generation!
Such beauty abounds in our beautiful country.  We are now committed to take time out from the hectic schedule of home life, to explore and discover ever more of it…….  In fact, so committed are we, we bought a campervan so we can go and explore more and more!  Watch this space…..

Kia Ora! Ka kite ano, Jizzy

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