Friday, April 4, 2008

Stepping Back in Time

Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury. April 2008. Ajr
This is the beach at Okains Bay, one of the outer eastern bays of Banks Peninsula, 90 minutes from Christchurch. I’ve been exploring there the past two days – lost in a time warp. It’s the closest thing I can imagine to life in 1940s New Zealand. Originally settled in the early 1850s – chiefly by saw millers after the rich timber reserves – it grew into a thriving little farming settlement complete with school, library, church, store and a cheese factory. The cheese factory closed down in 1968 and there are now only about 30 families left in the bay. The historic buildings are being restored though - that's nice to see; there’s a fabulous museum (see below) and every summer, hundreds of holidaymakers flock to the popular camping ground in the cluster of pine trees between the beach and the river.

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