In summer, Kawau Island comes to life. The bays become floating cities of gleaming boats, baches are chock-a-block with tanned holidaymakers, carrying books and beach towels. The smell of barbecue sausages and grilled onion lingers on the salty breeze. In winter, the same holiday homes will close their curtains and recuperate from the cloudless days. The locals remain, about 100 hardy people who look out over their empty beaches, a chorus of birdsong the album of the day.
It’s difficult not to fall under the spell of Kawau. Day trippers from the mainland are often seen dawdling on their walks, considering whether missing the last ferry out would really be the worst thing.