B.

Burning sands of Onekaka

Behind the scenes

While staying in Takaka last week I stopped off at Onekaka, which is just up the road from the Mussel Inn – one of my favourite bars.

Onekaka Wharf

Onekaka Wharf

The derelict Onekaka wharf provided a motif for Doris Lusk's painting in the mid 1960s and was also painted by her close friend, Leo Bensemann. The sea has been slowly devouring the remains of the wharf since these two artists worked here in the 1960s. I can see why they were drawn to this region. Once you've made the arduous journey over the Takaka Hill and negotiated the 300-odd bends in the road, golden sandy beaches with a backdrop of native forests and beautiful pristine rivers await you. Another bonus is the warm climate – well warm by South Island standards.

Doris Lusk Acropolis, Onekaka (The wharf) 1966. watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Lawrence Baigent / Robert Erwin bequest 2003

Doris Lusk Acropolis, Onekaka (The wharf) 1966. watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Lawrence Baigent / Robert Erwin bequest 2003

Leo Bensemann Onekaka 1965. Watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Lawrence Baigent / Robert Erwin bequest                                 2003

Leo Bensemann Onekaka 1965. Watercolour. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Lawrence Baigent / Robert Erwin bequest                                 2003