New Zealand in Focus
Bream Bay: The jewel in Northland’s crown
I have shared a few blogs about the Northland region over the last few years, however I have kept one little jewel in the crown a secret until now – Bream Bay.
Bream Bay is the half-way point between Auckland and Paihia, and is the home to one of our newest Family Parks members, Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park, a beautiful holiday spot situated in park like grounds set on 13 hectares of peninsular complete with pristine views from almost every camp site.
The estuary that surrounds the park is a hit with children, kayakers and bird watchers alike and just 5 minutes walk from camp is the beautiful white sands of Ruakaka Beach. With the Surf Life Saving Club patrolling over the busier months (Labour weekend to Easter) and holding trainings all year round there is always something happening. If the beach isn’t your thing the onsite tennis and volley ball courts are sure to help you work up a thirst!
Once you’re settled in and ready for an adventure you will soon discover that Bream Bay is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts all year around. Here are a just a few of the local highlights:
Walk the Waipu Coastal Trail
This recently developed track between Waipu Cove and Lang’s Beach features breath-taking views of the coastline, Whangarei Heads and Hen and Chicken Islands. With a reasonable level of fitness this walk will take you around 1.5 – 2 hours depending on how much of the track you walk. Along with the stunning views you will see local wild life, limestone formations that are likened to the famous Punakaiki ‘pancake’ rocks seen on the west coast of the south island and over the summer months you will see pohutukaka trees in their full crimson bloom. (20 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Explore the Marsden Cove Market
The Marsden Cove Market runs every third Sunday from 9am – 1pm in the big marquee at Marsden Cove Marina. Local producers, artists and crafters come together for this relaxed market day, giving locals and tourist the opportunity to take a little something home to enjoy that has been made or grown with a lot of love within this vibrant local community. While you’re there check out the boat ramp (open 24 hours), take a wander through the boats in the marina, browse the local shops or grab yourself a coffee and something to eat from one of the local cafes. (5 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Visit the Marsden Cove Oil Refinery
A trip to the Marsden Cover Oil Refinery is an educational yet fun excursion that can only be experienced in this one location in New Zealand. The visitors centre has a fully working, scale model of the refinery, offering an interactive experience that shows off the vast operation and technology required to refine and supply over 70% of New Zealand’s domestic fuel. The visitors centre is open 7 days and if you are visiting on a weekday you can stop in for lunch at Café North before or after your visit. (5 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Self-Guide the Waipu Caves
The Waipu Caves are undeveloped, unguided and free to enter. Of course entry is at your own risk and it pays to read the safety instructions well before entry. Walk in as far as you like, through small streams and in to larger caves. The Waipu Caves formation includes the largest cave passage in New Zealand and are the home to many fossils and creatures, including the glow worms that live in the third of the three sections. Grab some comfy shoes, your torch and some spare batteries, and get exploring! (20 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Play Waipu Golf Club
You may find it hard to concentrate on your game as you take in the stunning scenery on offer at the Waipu Golf Club. Meander 18 holes of well-maintained greens before you debrief your form over a drink and something to eat in the club house café. This is the perfect place to relax and take in the sea air. (10 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Picnic at Piroa Falls
A short 15 minute drive south on the highway followed by a quick drive up the sign posted metal road will take you to the Piroa Falls. The spot boasts great fresh water swimming, walking tracks to both the top and bottom of the falls and tables for a secluded picnic lunch. (20 minute drive from Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park)
Whether you are looking to relax or explore the great outdoors you can be sure that your visit will be filled with wonderful memories and great hospitality from Mike, Anne-Marie and the team at Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park.
For more information on the Northland region visit northlandnz.com
Photo credits: Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park and Northlandnz.com
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