- After lunch at the little park in Waihau Bay we continued along the coast then inland a little bit until we saw a sign for Lottin Point. Well, a point must mean a view, so of course we turned off onto the single lane road past bucolic pastures with sheep and cattle, down around curves onto a gravel road.
At a fork in the road there is a sign “toilets” to the right, motel to the left. We started towards the toilets but decided the gravel road was a little too much for the rental car and turned back towards the motel.
The motel seemed so out of the way we needed to learn more about it. We drove into the driveway, parked and walked to the reception door which was locked. Just then a man who was painting a part of the building called out ‘Can I help you?’. It turned out to be the owner of the Lottin Point Motel and we had a great conversation with him, culminating in him offering to take us to the beach down the sketchy gravel road in his truck. When we returned up the hill he offered us beers, of course we couldn’t refuse, and we spent more time talking at a table on the patio, looking out at the fabulous view. He eventually admitted that painting was done for the day! He introduced us to the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai-‘a reason for being’, a concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. A wonderful hour we spent at the motel with the proprietor!
- We reluctantly left the sunny patio and continued to Te Araroa to find the largest Pohutukawa tree in the world! We were not disappointed!
We still had over an hours drive to our night’s destination so we hurried along towards Tokomaru Bay. We arrived with a few hours of daylight still to go. Our accommodation was the old Post Office building, built in 1906.
We took a short walk to the beach past interesting older buildings that should be restored!
The beach is beautiful, but like many beaches in the region it has been badly impacted by the cyclone Gabrielle that hit the region in February 2023, 9 months ago! In fact Tokomaru Bay was cut off from the rest of the country for 6 weeks because the storm caused so much forestry slash to sweep down from the mountains from the rain that it destroyed a bridge linking the area to Gisborne, the largest city.
We returned to the B&B and had a wonderful grilled lamb burger dinner and retired for the night after sitting out on the bench in front looking at the stars which were bright and numerous!