A pirate-themed cache AND a beautiful beach walk to reach it – yes, Barti Ddu’s cache at Aramoana Spit is guaranteed to please all the family. But Don't Break the Pirate Code (GC23JFB), or you’ll be sent to Davies Locker!
Aramoana, “pathway to the sea”, is a half hour drive from town on a scenic harbourside road. It’s an attractive small settlement of holiday cribs with an increasing number of permanent residents. There is no shop, but the Domain (S45 46.755 E170 42.226) provides a pleasant sheltered picnic spot with toilets and water.
Sadly, on 13 November 1990 Aramoana was the site of a tragedy when David Gray killed thirteen people before he was shot himself by police. This has had a lasting impact on the wider community, so when you visit the victims’ monument Spare a Thought (GCTV3G).
It takes about an hour to walk to the end of the Spit and back along the edge of the saltmarsh. The historic houses and old jetty you’ll pass were built 1913 for the pilots who guided vessels into Otago Harbour.
From the Domain a 20 minute return boardwalk leads to a view of the saltmarsh ecological area, guiding you through a complete vegetation sequence from tidal to dryland. In the 1970’s there was a campaign to prevent an aluminium smelter being built on this nationally significant habitat; go and celebrate Aramoana Saved (GCTV3H).
Oh, and when you’re out in the marram grass desperately trying to open Barti Ddu’s pirate chest - notice that he’s a very modern pirate and allows you to call parlay...