I love summer and I love the water. Whether it’s the beach, a lake or river, I can’t really keep away from it. Beaches especially – every day is different. I can never be bored of it.
My favourite beach in New Zealand is Matapouri. About 2.5 hours north of Auckland and east of Whangarei (maybe 3.5hrs on a busy long weekend), it’s amazing. A crescent beach with an estuary at the southern end, there really is something for everyone.
With the right swell direction there can be a nice little right hand point break. If it’s rough or windy in the bay, the estuary is calm – if you’re keen enough, you can paddle board up the estuary for almost an hour as it winds inland. There is also Whale bay over the hill – accessible by foot and a popular picnic spot. And of course Mermaid rock pool – unfortunately visitors have not respected its beauty and a rahui has been placed to help restore it. As you might guess it can be pretty popular in peak summer months (particularly January), but here’s the secret, it’s amazing every month of the year!
Absolutely anywhere in the South Island
How incredible is the south island. Rhetorical question, clearly. It’s diversity of landscape and the things to see and do is endless. To give you one favourite spot in the south island is to do a disservice to all the other amazing places on the Mainland.
It really must all be seen to be appreciated. My one piece of advice – don’t rush around with a checklist. Slow down and explore.The beaches and hikes of the Abel Tasman. The beautifully wild West Coast. The mountain ranges, the national parks. The great walks (and the lesser known ones too!). The wildlife of the Otago Peninsula. The remote beauty of the Catlins. The wine trails of Central Otago (do yourself a favour and splash out on a lunch in the sun at Amisfield). The Bluff oyster season. Arrowtown’s autumn colours. Summer or winter, same view, different experience.
By Dave Hine