People don't come to Waikawa Beach for the shopping, the coffee, or the nightlife. We are blessed to be free of all of those things. Instead visitors take the dogs or the kids for a walk on the beach, do a bit of fishing from shore or boat, wander by the river, or just enjoy being out in the fresh sea air.
The Godwits and Gulls, the Terns, Oystercatchers, Shags, Stilts, Royal Spoonbills, White-faced Herons, Dotterels and Ducks all provide excellent opportunities for keen photographers, and those who just like to sit quietly and observe.
Over the Christmas break the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association puts on family activities for anyone at the beach, especially for the kids. There's a Sports Day with its egg and spoon, sack and wheelbarrow races, and a Boat Day which gives people the opportunity to race their kayaks or to build something that's supposed to float (but often doesn't really). The BBQ and drinks afterwards are always well appreciated.
Sand Sculpture Day gets families digging in the sand, creating fabulous scenes, large and small. Dragons, dogs and dinosaurs, ships, volcanoes and robots — you never know what creators might bring to life out of previously featureless sand flats.
The Christmas holiday brings visitors from near and far to enjoy the beach (though it's hard to beat the 12,000 Km non-stop flight of the Kuaka).
One highlight of the summer break is the Christmas Lights at the corner of James Street. Santa climbs towers, reindeer haul gifts, a helicopter arrives, a UFO launches. Each year brings a new scene. It's a very much-loved feature of the holidays.
At this time of year Waikawa Beach really wakes up. Let the fun times begin.
Originally published in [Ōtaki Today, December 2019](https://issuu.com/idmedia1/docs/_taki_today_dec_2019), page 25.
Note the Christmas cartoon. Can you pick out me?