Home' Special Magazines : SST Travel October Contents North Island
Baches, beaches and beyond. The sum total of a classic New Zealand summer
holiday is about being outdoors, in absolute laid-back style or being slightly more
adventurous -- whatever takes your fancy. There are many long days to enjoy.
Here are some tales of memorable summers and some "must-see" spots around
w Zealand. Not surprisingly, many of them gravitate towards the water.
ries of fun in the sun, adventures and hidden treasures
m around New Zealand.
"Our summer pilgrimage usually sees us
at Whananaki North Holiday Park. It is a
long-haul for the kids, especially being
wedged between chilly bins and boogie
boards, but the excitement on their
faces is visible with every glimpse of the
turquoise sea through the trees. Smiling,
tanned faces greet us on arrival, bringing
hope of sun-drenched days on the
beaches, barbecue dinners and all that
entails a classic Kiwi summer holiday --
including sunscreen applied with sandy
hands while hopping from foot to foot on
scorching sand, the smell of a two-stroke
outboard idling at a tidal boat ramp and
the slapping sound of jandals on feet as
they chase footballs and Frisbees.
The park itself is very social and
family-friendly with a large number
of 'regulars' always re-booking on
departure. South Beach, Moureeses and
Kings Beach are favourites among the
dozens of stunning bays that dot the
"This beach from my
childhood has seen many
changes over the past 40
years, but its rustic charm
and remoteness still beckons.
Located about 30km over
the majestic Te Mata Peak, it
glistens with golden sand, has
a lagoon for young plungers,
excellent surf-casting fishing
and has great surf for anyone
keen. It's ideal for family
holidays; there is Splash Planet
with bumper boats and lots
more to keep the kids excited.
Adults can indulge in the
Hawke's Bay Wine Country, only
30 minutes from this beach.
the Bay, but even my German
wife quickly spotted the
wonders of this place."
Great Barrier Island
It's a summer long-weekend
Aisling Carty recalls one such
weekend where the holiday began
on the car ferry (even though the
group didn't have a car!) that took
far too long. The ferry added to
the long-trip feel with interesting
conversations with locals on board
and spotting a pod of dolphins
adding to the fun. "We stayed on
a lovely old house boat that we
down and had no electricity, but it
was lovely ... like being on a small
island in the middle of nowhere.
We jumped into the clear blue sea
from our deck and fished off it to
get meals sorted," says Aisling.
The group did explore some of the
island's other beaches -- each one
more remarkable than the last --
and discovered some secret natural
hotpools, not disclosed because
they don't want too many people
to know about it.
For designer Tanya Carlson,
Great Barrier Island is the perfect
Kiwi holiday. "Every summer my
partner and I pack up the dog, the
tent, the surfboard and two weeks'
worth of supplies, and catch
the ferry to Great Barrier Island.
We camp on a friend's property,
which is just about a minute from
the beautiful Awana Beach. No
internet, no cellphone, no TV --
perfect," says Tanya.
Kohukohu is a sleepy little place on
the Hokianga Harbour with things to
keep you occupied if you wish, or just a
time to unwind and enjoy the summer
bounty. "I stayed at the Night Sky Lodge
with very basic, but immaculate, rooms
off a long verandah -- a wonderful place
to have that first coffee. Take your own
towels though, theirs are like sandpaper."
Otarawairere Bay, Ohope Beach
"A white sand beach framed by pohutukawa
trees, Otarawairere Bay (only 15 minutes from
Ohope Beach), is accessible only by foot or
boat. I've been going there since I was a child
and it is one of the magic spots I treasure
and now take my children to. Great for family
picnics with safe swimming and rock pools to
explore. For the more adventurous, there is the
Nga Tapuwae o Toi Walkway."
Nicola Burgess,Whakatane District Council
Paradise Found: Great Barrier Island
Serenity at Kohukohu
PHOTO: HAWKE'S BAY TOURISM
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