Bach 22: A photo essay

By Olivia Lamb

Photographer Olivia Lamb lets us in to her own slice of heaven. Far away from the sights and sounds of the city, the family bach in Himatangi has been a summer retreat for 13 years.

Himatangi is a small beach town in the Manawatū district. You buy your groceries and pick up your takeaways at opposite ends of the same shop and, like my cousins and I did, you make your own fun.

My grandparents bought Bach 22 more than a decade ago, naming it after the street number and my nana’s favourite wine brand. Over the years, visits to the bach kept us cousins close. We’d run through the salty shallows at sunset, play spotlight in the shadows of buildings, and take Sunday morning strolls to buy milk and fresh baking. On stormy days the family would burrow up inside with a film or a game of monopoly. There’s never been wifi at the bach, I think it’s better that way.

Many traditions were made over the summers we spent at Himatangi. There are only two types of evening meal, a roast or a barbeque. Dinnertime means a task for everyone and, once we’re stuffed, we all race down to the beach and watch the sun settle below the horizon, a tradition we call “chasing sunset”.


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