Recently I made a visit to Omaui. Months ago my son mentioned Omaui and asked if I’d been ever visited this small seaside area. I was sure I must have, because it is in Southland. Surely I knew all of our lovely southern province like the back of my hand. But the photos he sent didn’t ring any bells.
An unexpected visit to Southland occurred last month when my brother in law passed away. A trip to Omaui was definitely on the cards. I was intrigued to see this place for myself. Would I recognise it or not?
The answer is no. I don’t recall ever having seen this windswept beach before. Although it was a lovely, sunny day when we visited, chilly winds blew across the water. It’s my guess this open beach would rarely miss any winds heading up from the Antarctic.
Omaui Beach is close to Oreti Beach – home of Bert Monro’s many practice runs before taking his 1920 Indian motorcycle to USA to set world speed records. There is a smattering of buildings – permanent homes, cribs (bachs, holiday homes) and an education camp facility there. But it’s quite an isolated place. Considering its proximity to Invercargill one could imagine being in a world alone.
Our visit was too late to see the floral display from rata trees and numerous clematis along the route into Omaui. Instead I satisfied my appreciation of nature by fossicking around in the stones at the edge of the beach. My son pointed out many stones with crystals sparkled in the sunshine. Unfortunately, my photos failed to capture that sparkle in the half dozen shots I took. Of course, I did pocket a couple of unusual stones to add to my collection. A collection, I might add, which is fast becoming unmanageable.
Omaui is a lovely spot to visit on a summer’s day and I look forward to having the opportunity to go again sometime. The Department of Conservation has developed a couple of tracks within the reserve. It would be nice to have the time to check them out. Looking to visit somewhere off the beaten track? Try Omaui.