All the best for the Christmas season

20:12, Dec 23 2012
Merry Christmas from our tent to yours

If you're reading this, it means you've made it through the weekend OK. The world has not ended and the last-minute rush towards Christmas has not killed you.

You've shopped, you've socialised or you've hibernated, but you've made it and you're either ready or you don't care. Not much point getting uptight about it now, either.

So put your feet up and just let Christmas happen. It will, regardless of what you do.

I like what a bunch of people I spotted on Saturday have done. They have set up camp at White's Bay and look ready to stay there until after New Year.

What a great spot.

The drive to get there is a bit steep and windy, and I wouldn't like to pass a truck or a camper van coming in the other direction, but once you're there, that's it. Kick back, relax and enjoy.


Depending where you camp, it's not more about a five-minute walk down to the beach, and I imagine it's quite sheltered among the trees even with a breeze coming off Cook Strait. The camp sites in various clearings in the bush give shelter and privacy.

It's the sort of place a whole extended family would go and pitch their tents in one area, so they can all be together but also have their own space when they need it.

We saw one family playing backyard cricket. I took me back to days gone by.

That's the ideal family holiday setting - the fresh air, the beach, the bush and playing games all day.

There appear to be good tracks to walk in the area, too, from about one hour to four hours.

White's Bay is a popular swimming beach, I'm told, but I never realised there was such a good camp there. It's run by DOC so there are no power sites, but who needs that as long as there are good toilets and a shower to wash the salt and sand off at least once every few days.

The only problem would be the drive in to Spring Creek every few days to buy milk and bread . . . and the paper.

I bet those kids have long, happy memories of their summer holidays at the beach.

There are plenty of other campsites like this around the province, from Marfells Beach to many of the bays in the Sounds.

What an idyllic place to kick back for a holiday.

And don't for a minute think of all the people who still have to work, keeping the country going, because they'll take your place once you go back to work.

So have a peaceful Christmas with whoever you choose to share it with and enjoy your break from routine. If you are lucky enough to get a holiday, or even just a day here and there at places such as White's Bay, stay safe and have a relaxing time.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone.

The Marlborough Express