A Weekend Getaway on the Bay of Plenty Coast

Lori Keller

December 3, 2013

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Sometimes a great weekend getaway is as good as a week away. If that getaway takes me to a beautiful, out-of-the -way place, even better.

Such was the case last weekend.

After packing a small amount of fishing gear, and a chilly bin of food and drink, we headed out from Rotorua toward the Bay of Plenty coastline.  A scenic 45 minute drive along Lake Rotorua and the surrounding hillside saw us arrive at the relaxed seaside village of Maketu. It was early afternoon, and the locals were out enjoying the sun, making the most of the early summer conditions.  The tide was on the rise, and as the afternoon wore on, the surf club car park began to fill as more and more surfers arrived to make the most of the 4-5ft waves.

Maketu
Maketu
Courtesy of Western Bay of Plenty District Council

I am not a Bay of Plenty local, but the greetings and welcomes we received  from residents certainly made us feel like we were long-standing members of the community. A truly wonderful experience. As the waves began to mellow at Maketu, we drove over the hill to another seaside village, Pukehina, to try our hand at surf-casting. As daylight faded, we had yet to catch ourselves any of the early season snapper or kawahai that we had hoped would be on our dinner menu. As we packed our gear back intothe van, with hearts a little forlorn, two local fishermen parked up alongside us.

“No Luck?” one asked, leaning across from the the passenger seat.

“Nope, nothing . . .” I replied.

“Do you like flounder?” the other asked.

“Yes, love it, ” I replied, “But we don’t have our flounder net with us. Shame.” I answered back.

“No, I mean, do you WANT some flounder?” the driver replied.

“Really?” I was stunned.

“Yeah, we caught heaps yesterday . . . my wife is sick of eating them. I’ll go home and get you some . . . ” And with that, they were off down the road.

They returned 15 minutes later with 3 flounder and a piece of paper with their contact details for the next time we visited.

With dinner sorted, we headed back to the campsite. We made a meal fresh Waihi Bay flounder, salad, a cool ginger beer, and a warm fuzzy feeling that this weekend was one of the best weekends we had had for a long, long, time.

Thanks to everyone we met last weekend. You’ve made this summer one of the best already.

Sunset at the end of a Great Day
 

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