Family holidays at Tata Beach

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Dorothy and Charlie Tucker (Gran and Papa) wanted a holiday place where they, their children and grandchildren could relax, fish and make memories. After much searching in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay, they settled on the newly developed subdivision on the Peninsula at Tata Beach in Golden Bay.

They did their research; had holidays at Pakawau and Pohara and the Marlborough Sounds, but they kept coming back to Tata Beach. They experienced the good fishing the bay had to offer (that was back in the late 1950s) and liked the coarser golden sand at Tata Beach. The beach was also much better for launching the boat in all tides because the water was deeper than at many other beaches in the area.

So in 1959 they bought the piece of land and by October 1960 they had built their holiday house. At that stage there were only three other houses along the beach.

Gran started the tradition of the ‘Visitors’ Book and it has become a must to write in when your stay is at an end. She wanted people to write their memories. And what a wonderful time has been had by many people over the years as they pore over the books and laugh at the way they wrote when they were young and the stories they told.

The old and new visitors’ books are always in the house so you too can peruse the pages of history since that special opening day in October 1960.

Families circumstances change, and the family members who owned the property after the grandparents died were not in the position to do the necessary upkeep.

Anne and Devon decided they wanted to keep the bach in the family, so the memories could continue to be made and to provide a place where family and friends could unwind and let the worries of the world float away in the sea breeze (or gale, depending on the weather of the day!). They also wanted to share it with friends so they too could experience the charm the bay has to offer.

So in February 2004, the bach changed ownership. Anne & Devon set about making the changes that would hopefully see it into the next era and beyond. They wanted to make it a lot warmer – there was no insulation in the walls, ceilings or under floor and all the family knew how cold it could get – to let more natural light into the living area and provide more sleeping capacity and flexibility (those old mattresses had had a good innings). They also wanted a greater family flow in the living area and more indoor/outdoor living, with better space for parking the boat and the car.

The renovations started almost immediately but it really ended up being more of a rebuild as there was only one external wall that didn’t disappear. By Christmas 2004 it was nearly completed and just livable, and by Easter the next year, it was ready to be inhabited again.

We hope you will agree that the rebuilding goals were achieved and we trust that you too will have fun making more memories and let the Tata magic reduce your worries to little grains of sand.

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Home away from home

Tata beach my home away from home. For many years my family has been travelling to and from our beautiful worn-out bach on the sparkling sea side. Over the hill as we struggle not to get queasy is a simple town with limited action. Passing by with little fuss to a paradise far from civilization. Once arriving at our dated little cottage we burst out of the car to unlock the rusted lock on the gate that grazes the ground every time it is opened and closed.

As we open the door the old musty smell brushes across my nose and the warmth of the memories rush back into my mind. The sound of the warm but fresh waves collapsing on the beach with sand like little pebbles is something amazing. On the floor is carpet that has stains from many years ago but still has a sense of family.

Looking out over the water late at night the glistening of the full moon’s reflection and the beautiful clear sky with thousands of stars is something I’ll never forget. As I lay in the old tattered bunks and study what has been carved into the wood, I can hear the rustling of the bushes on the side of the wall outside and the buzzing of a car going past every so often.

Pulling back the curtains and squinting as my eyes get used to the piercing sun, in the distance I can hear the sound of a little boat putting along on their way for a day of fishing. In the late afternoon my brother, sister and I would go exploring on the knife-sharp rocks, where the clear blue water would smash up against the rocks like the sound of breaking glass. We would head to our favourite spot to investigate the small rock pools. Small fish and little things we called suckles which would suck your finger like a vacuum.

A special tradition we have is to toast those spongy marshmallows over a small bonfire. Me, my brother and sister would spend hours getting wood for our bonfire, while attempting to beat the other holidaymakers to the wood. Once it’s dark we lit up our creation. Placing my favourite pink marshy on a stick and intending to make it golden, not burnt and gooey, not hard. Turning my face away from the sizzling heat of the bonfire, I would look up at the glistening star-like embers floating away into the night sky. Also look far down the beach you can see little dots of others warming up around their fire. Enjoying my last night in our beautiful cottage I lay in the wooden scarred bunks for the last time and scrape my name into the dated wood and remember so many happy times.

Awaking early to the rattling of my family packing it’s time to say my goodbyes for the last time.

Later that year our bach called ‘Beach Haven’ was demolished and a new home away from home was created. We will always have those memories but now it’s time to create new ones in the new bach.

By Carissa (14)

Piwa perched