Stepping out in New Plymouth

Hang gliding at Back Beach
Handgliding at Back Beach

With the holidays approaching fast have you thought about venturing out and about in New Plymouth?

BackBeach is beautiful to wander along especially when the tide is out.  The surfers are out in force when the wind is right; also the hang gliders, and more commonly, para gliders float around on the thermal air coming off the high cliffs.

Paritutu Rock is also an unusual place to clamber about.  It is a portion of the outer rim of an extinct volcano.  The steep track up is graded hard.  Make sure to allow heaps of time for the rest at the top as there are amazing views in all directions -most certainly not for the faint hearted.

Another lovely beach with a great playground is NgamotuBeach.  There are public toilets and barbecue facilities available.  You will also find the beam pump, which marks the site of Moturoa No. 4 oilwell, drilled to a depth of 666 metres in 1931 and closed in 1972.  The beam pump was erected by Shell BP and Todd Oil Services as a memorial to the pioneers of oil exploration in New Zealand.

Kawaroa Park is well known for its rock pools.  Make sure to have sturdy footwear.  Young and old have fun exploring the rockpools, seeing creatures up close and then putting them back into their homes.

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Discovering Waihi in the North Island, New Zealand

Oh how things go in circles.

Growing up we lived on a dairy farm.  I certainly didn’t get involved too heavily in farm life.  I enjoyed huts made in the hayshed, jungle adventures in a small patch of bush, island adventures involving our para pool, numerous hours playing house, restaurant and shop, helping feed calves, helping feed out, washing down the yard but avoiding the cowshed when the cows were there.

At the age of 12 we left the farm and became “townies”.  This life I could relate to with shops and NO cows!

Fast forward 25 years and I am now married and we have children of our own.  For a family holiday what do we do? – Go and stay with friends on a dairy farm!!  What is really crazy is my husband Campbell and son Alex, nearly 10, love the farm life-style.  Daughter Kate (13) and myself are townies through and through.

The major bonus of this farm is – it is in Waihi.  There is so much to see and do around the area that I thought I would let you know what we have discovered.

The most beautiful place I love is Whiritoa.  Only 20 minutes drive from Waihi on the road to Whangamata, our friends took us to a lovely lagoon.  The golden sand was a major for our Taranaki bred children as we only have black sand.  All around the Waihi area we couldn’t get over the amount of shells.

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