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quikflikchiq Whanarua Bay - A travel report by tara
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Whanarua Bay,  New Zealand - flag New Zealand
10532 readers

quikflikchiq's travel reports

the perfect kiwi christmas holiday

  12 votes
Page: 1 2
a kiwi christmas is sunshine, beaches, barbeques, backyard cricket and blooming pohutakawa trees. this year i spent my holiday on the east cape at whanarua bay.

our own little piece of paradise - no children, no vehicles and no work!
our own little piece of paradise - no children, no vehicles and no work!
whanarua bay is about an hour north east of opotiki in the bay of plenty. when you leave opotiki, keep going along state highway 35 - the pacific coast highway. the countryside is quite rugged and somewhat isolated. dont be surprised if you see horses tethered up at the local dairy!

nell and i drove down from auckland to stay with sarah and andy at an old holiday park that sarahs parents and some of their friends invested in. it is no longer open to the public which means that all the cabins, the swimming pool and the mini golf course were all ours for the week!

some of the headings that GLOBO gives you for these reports are not really relevant so i am simply going to fill in some details of the area and what we got up to.
the new zealand automobile association has the pacific coast highway on its website as one of the recommended driving holidays but i think you should take a tent or a campervan and spend at least a week in this area. the locals are friendly, there is a lot of seafood to be caught and the weather is fabulous.

Favourite spots:
raukokore sovereign land owners embassy -  the sign says land, seas, waters, forests, sky council
raukokore sovereign land owners embassy - the sign says land, seas, waters, forests, sky council
the east cape can be wild and rugged but it also has gorgeous beaches qand expansive views you can get a good view of white island (an active volcano) from many of the bays and beaches.

the eastland or east cape area has a long history (well compared to other parts of new zealand!). maori legend says that further north east around the cape at whanagaparoa is where the first two canoes, arawa and tianui, from hawaiki in about 1350AD. a stranded whale was found on the beach and the captains of the canoes, in order to claim it, argued over who had landed first.
the captain of the arawa conceded the whale and the land to the tainui and sailed off to settle elsewhere.

the te kawa pub has a great view down the coast to the west - past white island and back to opotiki.
on the headland at raukokore is a very precariously perched anglican church that was built in abut 1895. it is on a bit of a lean thanks to a storm in 1968 (that sank the waihine in wellington).

What's really great:
a kiwi christmas tree - large pohutakawa in full bloom
a kiwi christmas tree - large pohutakawa in full bloom
within a 5 minute walk and just along the road is the pacific coast macadamia nut farm. they have a shop and a cafe and not only are the nuts warm and salty but the espresso is fabulous!
Their website is;

te kaha is considered whale rider country. it was a whaling community and is rather busy at most times of the day. i was however extremly upset to see a big apartment development going in next to the pub. are people not able to build houses and apartments that work with the landscape these days?
maori still have about 96% of the freehold land and i hope that they can hold out against this ugly development and the others that will follow it.

the pohutakawa tree is a sight that most new zealanders love. flowering in summer, its known as our kiwi christmas tree. driving around the roads from opotiki to whanarua bay, the small red flowers are all over the road making them rather magical - like a magic red carpet spread out before you.

accomodation appears to be very easy to come by - not just at whanarua bay but around the whole area.

there are plenty of bachs available for rent and there are also a lot of camping grounds at many of the little inlets.
accomodation is all bookable over the internet and i would say it would be very very hard to pick a bad place to stay as they are all either on the beach, near the rivermouth or just over the road from the beach!

the following website seems to have a pretty comprehensive list but i think this is the sort of area of new zealand where you want to get out of the motel and into a tent or campervan.

sarah fixing up the line on the fishing rod at one of the many bays
sarah fixing up the line on the fishing rod at one of the many bays
there are no nightclubs in the area.
about the closest things to a night club is either the pub at te kawa or the pub at waihau bay. but why spend the night in a pub when you have the option of starting up the bbq and having a few beers under the stars with friends.

aside from good conversation, take the fishing rods and go and spend some time on the rocks. see if you can catch your dinner - there is supposed to be extremely large snapper and hapuka in these waters!

there is also supposed to be good paua and large crayfish - so many that the old owner of the waihau pub used to be able to wade out and bring in as many as he needed for each lunchtime.

the nights are warm and the stars shine so bright here. there is no smog. the only smoke that can hide the stars is from my attempt at a barbeque! i have discovered i am better at making breakfast on the bbq - dinner i will leave to andy!

Published on Sunday February 25th, 2007

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Mon, Feb 26 2007 - 10:37 AM rating by trekkerman

lovely report on your trip Tara, i would liked to have seen more pics of some of the places you described. the macadamia nut farm sounds great. as does the bbq under the stars lol. i will get to New Zealand one day, and i agree with you that one of the best ways to see a country like NZ is to get a campervan to explore at your own leisure.


Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 04:06 PM rating by marianne

sounds great to have a holiday park for your own. I likethe photos especially the kiwi tree

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 12:55 PM rating by travler

Great report and interesting pictures.

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 09:41 AM rating by mistybleu

I'm really jealous, this sounds like a fabulous place to spend some time

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