and a belated Happy New Year … kiwi style

We were several days into our East Cape road trip when we reached Tokomaru Bay on 31st December 2011.

Travelling with two children, two dogs and my parents (in their own camper) we weren’t particularly looking for a parteeeeee spot for New Years Eve.
Not that we’d have struggled to find one.
Nearby Gisborne was holding its annual Rhythm and Vines festival and there were many other advertised NYE festivities happening.

As it was – we had our own accommodation, our own food and drink and our own entertainment so were more than happy to take advantage of the freedom parking facilities provided in scenic Toko’ Bay.

Tokomaru Bay, East Coast, North Island

We timed our arrival well.
After several gloomy drizzly days the sun decided to make its last appearance of 2011.

We took full advantage of it.

The nine-year-old was splashing in the sea by the time Sam got the kayaks down.
The moody teenager went to explore the driftwood strewn beach and started building (see .. Getting structural on a beach).
And the sand-covered dogs were sniffing every clump of grass like it was the most popular lamppost in town.


Even the dogs decided to celebrate New Year.. with a little dance

As the evening grew dim – and we applied our insect repellent – the glasses were charged (regularly) and the party lights came out.

I have to say our tealights in glass jars and solar power fairy lights were very pretty but shown up by the endless stream of fireworks we saw going off in all directions from our vantage point on the beach.

We sat and sang, and joked, and charaded, and drank in the New Year by an east coast beach.

They say that this part of New Zealand is the first place to see the sun of each new day – and therefore one of the first places to see in the New Year.
(I haven’t checked but I think there’s actually an island or two that just get in before NZ)

But it’s close enough for me.

I had a thought as I went to bed that night/early morning, that I’d wake early and catch 2012’s first rays of sun hitting the sea a few metres from my window.

I missed my appointment but the sun had got on with doing a good job in my absence.
It was a nice idea though.

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