Whale of a time for Mid-Winter Xmas

What was once an attempt at bringing the European cold wintery Christmas to New Zealand has turned into a sort of tradition or at least an excuse for a gathering.

Every winter, groups of friends and/or family get together a celebrate a mini Christmas type event. This year I organised a group of kayaking friends to have a mid-winter Christmas at one of the beach Bach’s provided by the Auckland Regional Council.

The weather looked terrible however the trip was in sheltered waters. In the end we decided to at least check out the situation in person and back track if need be. The conditions in the sheltered harbour were fine so we loaded up our kayaks and headed across to Big Bay.


Only accessible by boat Big Bay is located on Mahurangi North and we were stoked with this 8 person bach. We could have booked any number of weekends and was immaculately kept. Even the cutlery and crockery was better than most peoples homes.


Upon arrival is it was straight into preparing the Turkey and getting it into the oven as it would take a few hours to cook. We then managed to relax over a few wines and snacks. As the evening wore on, we told stories of our traditions and memories of Christmas spanning 5 different cultures.


Dinner was now ready so with table set, candles lit it was time to consume the stupid amounts of food we had prepared and after that we attempted dessert.



The next morning we awoke to find a rather large Whale on our doorstep complete with her baby. The Southern Right Whale (named after being the “right” type of whale to kill as it floats) had been cruising the waters for a few days. Being sure not to annoy the mammals a couple of the group kayaked out and drifted while the whales came to check them out. What a marvellous way to start the day.

After packing up we headed back to Sullivan’s Bay where we had parked the night before. Low and behold our friends the whales had   gone across while we had breakfast.


Disclaimer: No whales were harmed during the making on this blog entry (or breakfast)

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  • My photos of the Mid-Winter Christmas at Big Bay
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