All summer I have dreamed about Judges Bay. I didn’t know that it was called that, I just knew that what I’d spotted from Tamaki Drive – the newly sanded beach complete with pontoons wanted to be experienced. There never seemed to be the right moment though and so it wasn’t until last Tuesday that I finally got to dip my toes in.
Tucked at the bottom of the Parnell Rose Gardens and beside the Parnell Salt Water Baths, Judges Bay is probably one of the closest beaches that you can find to the city centre. As far as I can recall it has never really been used as a beach to swim at but the council has recently resanded the beach, done up the wharf and changing rooms and thrown in some pontoons for good measure.
We went down on the Tuesday after Easter, the tides were just right with high tide hitting at lunch time and the water – although a bit muddy near the beach was beautifully clear and refreshing if you jumped off the end of the wharf. At high tide the water was deeeeep, but still perfectly safe for my youngest sister and so after a bit of pushing to see who would jump off the wharf first, we swam out in convoy to the nearest pontoon.
After some jumping on and off we swam back to the wharf to watch boys who were far more athletic than we do flips off the poles and to lounge on the grass while glaring at the people who had managed to snag one of the wooden loungers.
Getting bored of swimming we decided to go and explore the rose gardens. We quickly rinsed off under the outdoor showers and slipped into our clothes inside the pretty nicely appointed changing rooms before heading up the hill.
While the rose gardens are pretty, they have nothing on the Hamilton Gardens. And so after a quick peek at St Stephen’s on the other hill it was home time. Happy, clean and kicking myself in the face for leaving it so late to experience.
Here’s hoping we have a few more unseasonal warm days huh?