The seaside township of Kaka Point is nestled among sand and
bush in South Otago.
A popular seaside village less than 20 minutes' drive from
Balclutha, Kaka Point has a permanent population of about
200, boosted by holidaymakers during the warmer months.
The township offers a range of recreational pursuits,
including surfing, fishing and kayaking. It also offers bush
and beach walks, tennis and swimming at a surf-patrolled
beach between November and March.
Tucked into native bush at the top of the township is the
Kaka Point camping ground, which becomes a sea of tents and
caravans as holidaymakers arrive for the summer break.
The camp has sheltered tent and power sites, a full kitchen,
free barbecue and a coin-operated laundry. Set next to a
children's playground, the camp is close to tennis courts and
the bowling club and is a short walk from safe swimming and
Mataura man Bruce Wilson has been coming to Kaka Point each
Christmas for the past eight years.
He and a group of five friends arrived in time for Christmas
and plan to spend nine days at the camping ground.
The group enjoyed a warm Christmas day at the camp, with
temperatures estimated by holidaymakers to be in the high
20s, perhaps even 30degC.
''We started coming in 2004, and have kept coming back.
There's good camp ground managers here. They're friendly and
the ground is a lot tidier since they came,'' Mr Wilson said.
Kaka Point had not changed much over the years, but there
were a few more houses, he said.
''There's a very friendly atmosphere in the camp. Here you
make friends for life.''
''We're already booked in for next year, so we're all ready
to come back.''
Fellow camper Pam Brown, of Milton, said it was the first
time her family had stayed in Kaka Point.
''We normally go north but we figured we would try Kaka Point
this year. It's been great staying at the motor camp, and the
weather hasn't been too bad.''
While only a small township, Kaka Point has a variety of
accommodation to suit all needs, including backpackers,
motels and bed and breakfast places, as well as the camping
Other amenities include a general store with postal
facilities, restaurant and bar, public telephone, seaside
picnic areas, changing sheds and toilets, children's
playgrounds, fire station, community hall, surf clubrooms and
Resident Mark Deacon said the township was great place to
live all year round.
''Why would you go anywhere else for Christmas? It's great
here all year, especially in summer.''
Only 8km down the road is Nugget Point, a popular tourist
A prominent headland, Nugget Point obtained its English name
from the early whalers and sealers who thought the offshore
rock stacks resembled nuggets.
At Nugget Point there is the spectacular Nugget Point
Lighthouse Wildlife Reserve (Tokata), which is home to fur
seals, New Zealand (Hooker's) sea lions, elephant seals and
yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho), as well as a wide variety of
Here visitors can park and take a short walk overlooking
Roaring Bay to watch yellow-eyed penguins coming ashore in
the evenings, or drive to the second car park and take a walk
to the Nugget Point lighthouse.
Along the coast around Kaka Point and to Nugget Point are
plenty of places for fishing. Nugget Point's fishing history
is on display at the Point Cafe and Bar, where owner Colin
Paterson has painted the wall above the pub's fireplace with
an image inspired by historical photographs and the landscape
near Kaka Point.
Mr Paterson created the painting using two historical photos
of fishing boats along the coast from Kaka Point and his
memory of the landscape.
Photos by Helena de Reus and Peter McIntosh; prints
available from otagoimages.co.nz.