PHOTO: SUPPLIED – An aerial view of the Sand Castle Motel in Peka Peka.

The castle was almost empty and it was the middle of winter when the man looked at Narie Geffney and said, “I’m dying”.

“We all catch that bus eventually,” Geffney replied, after a long silence, still not entirely sure this was the right thing to say to a motel guest.

It was the skyline of dreams, cinder block ‘turrets’ and orange-tinted skylight domes: a 1970s castle built near the dunes, which hosted thousands of New Zealanders in a country filled with bland motel buildings.


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