Akitio, down a road not yet travelled by any in our group, was next on our list to visit. There were two roads leading to Akitio from Pongaroa, but as one was a sealed road and the other merely a rough gravel road, we took the easy option and travelled on the sealed road. After an easy hour’s drive, we had arrived at the seaside settlement of Akitio.
We had phoned through the previous day and booked three power sites, as we had been told the camp could well be quite full with an upcoming fishing competition. The fees at this rugged seaside camp were $24 per night. The motor camp is just across from the beach and there are many caravans permanently on site, with annexes attached. Many sites had boats and trailers, and we also noticed crayfish pots on some sites.
They do things a little differently in this camp. Robin was rather amused to be handed a fuse to place in the fuse box. Perhaps this is the way that the management ensures that all campers pay for their power connection? Our three caravans had a bit of trouble squeezing into the allocated area, which being uneven, added to the difficulty. With a bit of too-ing and fro-ing and the placement of blocks under the wheels to level the caravans, we were finally settled.
Happiness is clean laundry, I always say, so it was my mission to find out where the washing machines were. My heart sunk when I was told, “We don’t have a laundry”. But they did have a single washing machine, tucked in a corner of the kitchen/dining/lounge area. Thank goodness for that! With my load done, Geoff came over to attend to his washing duties.
It is obvious that there are a lot of keen fisher folk in camp, as I saw this sign above the laundry tub, stating quite clearly that fish should not be cleaned here. I imagine that this practice must have been a problem in the past for the sign to be needed at all. The combination laundry, kitchen, dining room and lounge also boasted a bucket for pig scraps. Guess the fish scraps go in there. Recycling is taken very seriously in these out of the way places, so it makes sense for the food scraps to be used as pig food. Wonder where the pigs were?
We took a walk around the local area and there is no doubt that this is a fisherman’s dream place. Tractors were everywhere, lined up on the beach all ready to drag the fishing boats out of the surf.
These days Akitio is a small fishing and holiday village but it is obvious that it was a thriving place in earlier years. We found this plaque commemorating the enterprise of Frank Armstrong from Akitio Station who had built several landing sheds on this site to store his export tallow and wool.
The rock formations on the beach were very interesting and seemed to show an up thrust of the rocks, no doubt as a result of the land moving during a long ago earthquake. The rocks on the beach clearly show two layers of rock laying horizontally on the beach, a lighter sandstone amongst layers of darker rocks. This is merely one sign of New Zealand’s violent and tumultuous past in earlier times.
Decorating a fence back at camp was a collection of colourful jandals (also known as thongs or flip flops in other countries). A camp resident must have started this for fun, and it has been added to over a period of time. The collection now stretches along the full length of the fence.