Over the previous couple of evenings wandering on the beach at Okarito I was impressed by the strange shapes of the driftwood. Before we left after our second night at the camp, I went back one last time to gather some round stones to replenish my collection; and also to gather some images of driftwood. It was a misty sort of morning; the sort of weather photographers welcome.
On our way out of town, a journey of about 500m, we stopped off at the Information Centre. The Okarito Information Centre get me awards for Most Original, Most in Keeping, and Best Overall Information Centre in the country, if not the entire universe.
I’d like to think that the Okarito Lagoon has always looked like this. The tide comes in, and goes out. The gold rushes came, and went. The flax extraction came and got overtaken. The timber mills flourished and disappeared. And now Okarito, population 27, quietly welcomes the relatively few visitors who bother to drive the 13 kms from the main West Coast highway to discover its charms.
As we finally drove away, the last White Heron we encountered took off and languidly flew over us; ensuring that our visit really was magical.