Ward Beach

The very interesting thing about Ward Beach is that it is the launch site for a number of local fishing vessels. The really interesting thing is the manner in which the vessels are launched and retrieved back onto their trailers. It is all done via Bulldozers.  The Bulldozers are parked along the beach, then at launch time, the boats are retrieved form their sheds further along the road, brought to the beach via another vehicle, then hooked up to the Bulldozer and quickly launched into the surf. 

launchingLaunching at Sunrise

When it comes to haul out time, the boat comes right into shore, a ladder on the front of the boat is flipped down the bow of the boat and one of the crew stands on the ladder ready to leap off, the boat is brought right into shore, the crew member leaps off and flips the ladder back up onto the deck.  He then goes off to get the bulldozer and trailer.  The trailer is backed into the water then within a few seconds the boat is driven straight onto the trailer and is immediately hauled out of the surf.

haul out 2Driving onto the trailer

haul out 1 and towed along the beach to the waiting truck ready to take to the sheds.

 There should be a video clip here of the boat launching procedure however our internet connection is terribly slow so will have to upload it another day.

It appears that the main catch is crayfish, and is a thriving industry in this area.  We are waiting for one to fall off the back of the truck but no luck so far!!

The other interesting thing going on around us at the moment is Top Dressing on the farm behind us.  It has been quite difficult to capture on film as the plane is just too darn quick!

top 2 Plane over the beach

top 1Although difficult to see, there is the Top Dressing Plane in the back ground going between the two hills.  It is just above the washing line and just below the line of the hills on the left.    It kept some of us entertained for a little while. 

We have no internet connection here at the Beach, well no Vodaphone connection.  Roy has Telecom coverage on his phone, but he cannot send texts but he can make phone calls!  Go figure!  So although we also have a Telecom stick for emergency use, we reckon that as no texts can be sent, then the likelihood of internet data is also unlikely to be available. 

So instead we head off 5 minutes up the road to Ward township to see what connection is like there. We travel through Flaxbourne, a farming area where some of NZ’s first large farms were developed.  A thriving community once lived here, with a huge Tallow plant and up to four flax mills in production.  All that remains are the farms.

At the Ward Shop, (yes, there is just the one shop) you can have a crayfish meal for $35!, we found the Flaxbourne weather station.  The picture says it all!


The internet connection in Ward was not very good, and as we also wanted to buy a few provisions, we decided to take a drive up to Seddon.  Internet connection was good, so emails cleared, then onto to get a bit of shopping done (including getting some bait for the fisherman) then back to Ward Beach. Time for a bit of fishing before dinner and an evening of relaxing. 

And just so that the late riser of the touring party can see what sunrise over the sea looks like, here it is!



Oh, and still waiting on fish to be caught!

We left Ward Beach on Wednesday 18th April (Roy’s Birthday) and headed toward Kaikoura. Not sure if we will stay there or head on to Parnassus.

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