Winter stillness in Golden Bay – Lazy days at a Paton’s Rock bach
By Charlotte Squire
You are cordially invited to play Beatles ‘soundtrack’ whilst reading
Exciting! We’re going on holiday! Admittedly we’re not going far, and we only have twenty four hours, but it’s a holiday all the same. So, after four hours of packing, followed by a hilarious ten minutes of driving, we arrive at Golden Bay’s Lazy Dayz holiday home, Patons Rock Beach, all primed for the cosy, the salty and the windswept. And we’re surprised.
As a Kiwi I’ve grown up with sun bleached coastal baches that smell like summer and sand when you open them up after months of silence. Instead, we’re greeted with a sprawling, breezy beach house, fully equipped with dishwasher, microwave, two TVs, a stereo that shall grace our holiday with song after song from the Beatles, and even a laundry room. This is so not a roughing it holiday.
We explore our home away from home in a child like state of excitement. The four year old’s the coolest about it. It takes a lot more than good appliances to impress him. We discover the holiday house has two wings with a living space in between. Each wing sleeps a family and includes a bathroom.
It’s raining and we light the fireplace. I curl up beside it and can’t seem to keep away from its glorious heat the entire weekend. This is due to three years of bland but convenient heat pump usage. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate any source of heat, but nothing beats a wood fire.
We gaze out at the vast Patons Rock beach just metres from our front window and drop down a few gears into holiday mode. We only have twenty four hours, and we’re going to make it count. I mean that in the most low key of ways.
Despite the rain, we’re soon out exploring the beach, with the four year old at the helm. We hunt and gather our fair share of spirally hermit crab shells, crab bits and three perfect marshmallow sticks. A damned up stream is carefully examined for beavers and eels.
Back at home base we begin our holiday project: the vision board. We want stuff, and we’re going to use this nifty trick to ‘call it in’! We even have book full of vision board tips. We can’t go wrong. The four year old soon understands his mission and has a fine pile of images for his board including a soccer player, a man with manly stubble and an iPhone. It makes sense to him. We are instructed to find him an iPad image too.
A long morning run north towards Collingwood from our bach reconnects me to the best that Golden Bay has to offer – miles of untouched beach, touched by bush and farmland, beloved homes and baches, treasures flung up onto the sand by Tangaroa. I’m all alone with nothing but my breath and the pounding of the sea to guide me home. I pass three generations of men gazing out to see waiting to pull in their Kontiki. I later hear they catch a fat snapper.
With the Beatles as our good company that weekend, we turn that twenty four hours into a long languid holiday. Marshmallows toasted over the fire, hours of time are spent on the couch with a book, a kid’s movie is watched by three people from a bed, good wine is shared, pancakes are fried in the shape of our initials and covered in yogurt and peaches. Nothing beats time away from the usual routine, from the housework, or the responsibilities, like a beach holiday, even when it’s raining.
There are kayaks in the garage, but the swell’s just a little too large for two novices and a four year old. There’s a Barbecue accompanied by a fine collection of beach chairs outside. We briefly contemplate firing up the barbie, and then turn back to our vision board. Dreams are important and this holiday’s the time to remember them.
Would you like to getaway to Golden Bay for the weekend? For those on a budget, winter’s a great time to come stay in Golden Bay. It costs $150 per night during the winter at Lazy Days Holiday Home. This holiday home sleeps eight people, plus it has a cot near a double bed.
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