Beaches, hot springs, the arts
This is the nearest beach, on the Eastern side of the island. Take the road to Okiwi, turn left at Okiwi School on Mabey Road and follow the gravel road to the end. The parking area has a DOC toilet. You walk 200m across the dunes to a magnificent beach.
Awana and further south
Awana is on the Eastern side of the island half way to Claris and provides a good surfing beach. Further south at Medlands and Tryphena numerous white sandy beaches provide a wealth of options for beachgoers.
Surf Boards, dive gear and kayaks are available for hire from Hooked on Barrier: 09 4290 740
the ‘bar’ at Whangapoua is a 1/2hour+ walk accessible at low tide if you are willing to swim across Whangapoua stream. Watch the tide. The campground is a lovely place to take small children especially at high tide, as it provides safe, shallow and warm (in the afternoon) swimming.
The locals take pride in their resources, kai moana being a key part of life. Please take only what you need and keep to the regulations. DO NOT clean fish at the wharf as people swim from here.
Kaitoke Hot Springs are located on the track to Hirakimata / Mount Hobson. Access them via Whangaparapara Rd. The track is approximately an hour and a half return. An excellent way to ease into holiday mode.
There are a number of brilliant artists and musicians on the island and we encourage you to support local talent.
Aotea Community Art Gallery in Claris is open 7 days and is a great place to start. For more galleries check out our local ‘Purple Pages’.