There is a sign at the end of the road to Pahaoa. "LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS," it says, and there were two sets of footprints on the beach: mine, going out, and coming back. I climbed a rock, and sat on it. Hours passed, a whole afternoon, I realised later, in what seemed like minutes.

I took these photographs, hardly daring to hope that they would capture how it was at Pahaoa, on Friday afternoon, but they do. I came home with something better: a quiet mind. 

Comments (8)

by Ian MacKay on March 14, 2011
Ian MacKay

I hear the sea and the breeze, and smell the salt and the seaweed. So the images captured are of our country.

The fence in the 9th photo intrigue. Why would the only sign of mankind be a tired fence and why just there?

by Claire Browning on March 14, 2011
Claire Browning

A quandary, Ian: shall I leave you in intrigue, or be matter of fact, and prosaic?

by Ian MacKay on March 14, 2011
Ian MacKay

I did enjoy the photos Claire. Beautiful is a bit of a cliche but so is evocative. Oh damn. Just great thanks.

I guess the fence mocks the short-stepping mortality of man whereas the land has been there for millions and millions of years. And will be.

by Chris Webster on March 17, 2011
Chris Webster

For where for art this paradise?


by on July 12, 2011

These are very beautifully photos of a very special place. A large Pa was located at the river mouth. Sand stone was quarried from Mt Adams for carving greenstone. Now the River has lost its Mana as all the fish are dead due to farmers grazing cattle. From abundance to desolation, this is progress ?

by on March 07, 2012

So, say you find a pair of Adidas Jeremy Scott Bones you can’t live without but they are on the internet. While you can certainly order the size that you think fits you, you should be ready to return them until you find the size that fits you best.

by em on March 18, 2012

I wish everyone just left their footprints! 

As a resident Pahaoa is a magnificant piece of coast, the estuary contrary to comments on this has kahawai, flounder...last year had record catches of whitebait (although not if trashed continously). 

I am interested in the comments on the fence.....what about all the willow, pine driftwood etc that washes up is that not human refuse on our coasts?????

We are 45 mins directly east of Martinborough and have beach front accommodation available for interested people, email

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