Half a century on down at the beach
Fifty years ago tomorrow Gren and Margaret Farrant rolled up to a very different Kaiteriteri Motorcamp to start their marriage.
Tomorrow they will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with friends made and family raised over the past half-century of summer holidays enjoyed at Kaiteriteri.
The couple, who originate from Southland and now live in Timaru, said they had worn out a few caravans, at least three cars, and travelled more than 100,000 kilometres circumnavigating the South Island from their southern home to their holiday roost.
But they never missed a year.
They had brought their three children to Kaiteriteri every year.
And they in turn now bring their children's children to the popular camp.
Mr Farrant said before his retirement they would spend three weeks holidaying by Kaiteriteri Beach.
"Now we have been known to stay until May," Mrs Farrant said.
"Sometimes we leave the caravan here and go home for a few weeks and come back."
While the original roads were windy and dusty, they never booked their site, and the camp's water was once dodgy, but the pull of the sun, the beach and the fishing were too strong to relinquish.
In addition they have made lifelong friends at the camp, and many of them will be rolling up to the Farrants' site tomorrow to celebrate their friends' happiness, albeit with the entry proviso of "take your dirty dishes home" ringing in their ears.
"Camping is the great equaliser," said Mr Farrant.
"It does not matter if you are a company manager or an ashman - you are all the same."
- © Fairfax NZ News