Jackson Bay Sandflies Are Huge!

The Jackson Bay sandflies are huge….

But this is not actually a sandfly.

jackson bay sandflies are huge
New Zealand Bush Giant Dragonfly

It is a urepetala carovei…a New Zealand bush giant dragonfly. This incredible flying machine can grow up to 86mm long and have a wingspan of 130mm.

We spotted this sunbathing on a log at Ocean Beach, just over the hill from Jackson Bay.

Jackson Bay is at the end of the road…at the southern end of the north to south road on the West Coast.

Down here the sandflies are huge, and normally very hungry. The weather is often unpredictable but the mood is always quintessentially West Coast.

jackson bay south westland
Jackson Bay, South Westland

Jackson Bay was originally named Open Bay by Captain James Cook way back in the dim dark ages. Sometime after that, for reasons unknown, Open Bay became Jackson’s Bay, with the possessive (i.e. the apostrophe) being dropped in the early days of settlement of the area.

jackson bay wharf south westland
The Jackson Bay Wharf
world-famous on the west coat is the craypot
World famous on the West Coast – The Craypot

Today Jackson Bay is home to a small fleet of fishing boats, with crayfish being probably the most popular catch.

the craypot at Jackson bay
The Craypot, Jackson Bay

In fact, the Craypot is the main centre of attraction in Jackson Bay. Once a pie cart in Timaru, the Craypot is now a casual seafood restaurant overlooking the Jackson Bay foreshore.

Just over hill from Jackson Bay is Ocean Beach, accessible via an easy bush walk of 20 or so minutes. Take a bike if you prefer…it’s well worth a visit.

walkway to jackson bay
The walkway to Ocean Beach, Jackson Bay
ocean beach walkway
jackson bay
Ocean beach, Jackson Bay
ocean beach, Jackson bay
Ocean Beach, Jackson Bay

Even on a dull day, such as when we were there, there is some colour in Jackson Bay, provided by the cray pot buoys stored in waiting to be taken out to sea to land the next catch.

ropes and buoys
Ropes and buoys, Jackson Bay
buoys jackson bay
Buoys, Jackson Bay

All images were captured with a Panasonic LUMIX G95 micro four-thirds camera, mated with a Lumix 12-60mm zoom lens.

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