Welcome Ngawi, Cape Palliser

Ngawi (named after the local tussock grass) is a small fishing / holiday town within five kilometres of Cape Palliser, the southernmost point of New Zealand’s North Island.

Ngawi has more bulldozers per capita than anywhere else. They are used to haul fishing boats into and out of the water as there is no wharf or other access to the ocean other than the beach, which can be notoriously rough.

The location has a large population of fur seals, and is popular not just with commercial but also with recreational anglers and spearfishers. The best fish to catch are Paua, crayfish, and warahau.

Ngawi is known for its exposed climate, its intense and prolonged wind and the fact that there are almost no trees nearby. The weather can be extremely hot in summer.

Several ships have been wrecked on the rough coastline.

In May 2006, filmmaker Peter Salmon shot a short film called ‘Fog’ (starring Joe Dekkers-Reihana, Chelsie Crayford Preston, Jim Moriarty and Tina Cook) in Ngawi. Salmon was drawn to the area’s unique landscape and isolated feel. The film premiered at Critic’s Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

Text and photos by Tim Gruar (tim_gruar@yahoo.com)

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