A few weekend’s ago the Barlow family packed up the Matamata Camper and headed an hour or so north to spend the night on the edge of the Firth of Thames.
Literally. Right on the edge.
A few minutes south of Kaiaua on the western coast of the Firth of Thames is a long thin strip of land between the coast road and the beach that seems to be very popular with caravaners and motorhomers. Ray’s Rest, it’s called.
I wasn’t terribly interested in finding out how the place got its name so I can’t tell you who Ray is. All I can say is his resting place is well worth a look for a night or two.
It’s a decent stop if you’ve got kids too. The beach stretches off in both directions, which means the boys had plenty of space to run around, explore, fight, make up… And you can watch them from a comfortable distance in case they decide to head out into the mud.
Ah yes, the mud. The coolest feature about this spot is you get to watch the tide suck out and flood back in. It doesn’t muck about either. The moon seems to have serious pull in this part of the world.
The tide was on its way out as we arrived on the Saturday afternoon. Pretty soon there was a massive mud flat laid out in front of us. A magnet for boys.
“Stay on the beach Nathan.”
“Don’t walk in the mud Theo.”
So they went off the beach. They walked in the mud. And it wasn’t just any type of mud. It stuck to their flesh and shoes like Skins after a work-out. You need a bloody high pressure hose to get the stuff off.
In the morning we got to see the tide come back in. It was literally like watching someone filling up a massive bath. No mucking around. Soon enough the water was back lapping the shore and the place looked like a proper beach again.
The Pirate Ship playground at Kaiaua is just up the coast so an hour or so there (plus an ice cream) helped keep the kids pacified ahead of the trip home.
Short and sweet this time. Much like our visit to Ray’s Rest. It’s just the place for that type of overnighter.