No Tent Required (Part One) – Te Waihora / Kaitorete Spit Camp

“On a Mish” #335 No Tent Required – Part One. Te Waihora / Kaitorete Spit. Lake Ellesmere. Canterbury. 25.6.2022. With no fix for my hip on the horizon I needed to do something that took my mind off the madness of my situation. Going somewhere to simply marvel at the magnificence is the best medicine around, and I needed a solid dose. Due to my injury I couldn’t go very far or carry too much, but luckily just down the road is a place that never disappoints. Kaitorete Spit has been the location I have visited whenever I want a bit of outdoor time without too much hassle…

Living just out of Tai Tapu means that I can be at the spit in less than 30 minutes, and it is within those short 30 minutes that I filter out any bad vibes before I hit the beach for some exercise with a fresh frame of mind. I find a night out camping is best for a full reset and it had been a while since I had been into the outdoors with my tent ‘On a Mish’. Going into the wild as often as possible is very important to me and has been difficult lately, so like Joe Cocker ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’ and I needed to assemble an adventure team for the mission. Joining me on the journey was my old man Jeremy, brother-in-law Paul and nephew Benji, and together we began our mish on a chilly winter’s afternoon.

Benji at our Basecamp

We decided to drive all the way to the western end of the spit, near the man-made outlet at Taumutu. I wanted to camp there because you get the unusual experience of having a lake (Lake Ellesmere) and the ocean (Pacific), divided by a thin strip of beach (Kaitorete Spit). We slowly bumped our way along the rough farm track that weaves through the barren farmlands on the spit. Seeing the bright green grass of a newly established dairy farm was a real eye opener of how a dairy farm can completely alter an area. We left the farm behind us as we kept creeping further west towards our planned destination, and the afternoon couldn’t have been better. I never rush when choosing a campsite, so we took our time while we looked for the perfect spot amongst the dunes of the beach. Due to a weather change during the night we needed somewhere sheltered from the wind and after a good search we found the perfect place to pitch a couple of tents. After a few moments of taking in the epic-ness of the area, we began to construct our small tent town on the beach. Jeremy, Paul and Benji had tents , but me being me meant that I wanted to spice things up a bit, and I did this by making my own shelter instead of using my tent. To spend a night out under the stars in a makeshift shelter is an awesome experience I love to repeat as often as possible. So as far as this mish goes, there was no tent required…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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