Beachy day out uncovers a family tradition

Last updated 05:00 28/12/2013

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Taranaki children dug fast and furious in a bid to uncover hidden treasures buried at the annual Big Dig Beach Extravaganza at Ngamotu Beach yesterday.

About 1000 people showed up for a day of sun and prizes at the event, which was one of the many activities held as part of the TSB Festival of Lights celebration.

The big dig was split into three groups - under-10s, 10-12 years old, and over-18s.

Among the diggers was Oliver Richardson, 7, of Egmont Village, whose digging efforts won him a pack filled with toys and balloons.

While Oliver was happy to have won something, he said he was "trying very hard" to also help his siblings and cousins win a prize.

Oliver's dad, Matt, said the Richardsons show up for the big dig every year. "It's a family tradition," he said. "It's all about the family atmosphere and it's a beautiful spot."

Cousins Alene Parkes and Amber Erueti, both of New Plymouth, are also sticklers for family traditions and the pair were found serving up a large picnic under a marquee while their children romped under the sun.

Ms Parkes said the family had been coming to Ngamotu Beach for generations.

When the beachgoers were not elbow deep in sand, they could be found splashing at the water to keep cool.

East End Surf Life volunteer lifeguards Alex Smith and Scott Nelson said beachgoers had been well-behaved.

Mr Smith said there had been no dramas with everyone keeping safe, while Mr Nelsonreminded people to swim between the flags, whatever beach they were at.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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