Name: Sarah Harman
Position: Digital Analyst
What is your favourite ‘undiscovered location’ in New Zealand?
Coastal Southern Hawkes Bay – there are small settlements and great beaches dotted all the way down the coast.
Why is it special to you?
It’s so close to home, having grown up and now returned to live in Napier. Most visitors think “wine country” and “art deco” when they think of Hawke’s Bay, and rightly so, but growing up the best weekend activities required some petrol in the car, jandals (sandals) and togs (swimming gear) and not a lot more! The closest beaches are only a 20-minute drive from Havelock North.
Who did you travel with?
As kids we went to popular Ocean Beach or Waimarama for family days out, and as a teenager I was there all the time with friends. We would usually return via Maraetotara falls, the brave can jump while the timid can just watch.
Now with my own children, the Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is great for exploring with a snorkel or investigating the rock pools.
What is your best piece of advice for people visiting this location?
Staying at one of the camping grounds is so relaxing. Most areas have mobile coverage these days, but it’s easy to forget about your phone while you’re there. Fresh crayfish and paua are always on the bbqs, and for dessert you should easily be able to find some fresh berries or peaches for sale at the roadside. Grab a couple of bottles of HB wine from one of the excellent cellar doors on your way down.
For something different, Porongahau coastal settlement is home to some beautiful homesteads, as well as the hill with the longest place name in the world: Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu.
What is the closest airport/how do you get there?
Air New Zealand and Jetstar operate regular domestic flights to Hawke’s Bay Airport, from the major centres, and you can hire a car from the Airport. The drive to Waimarama Beach is around 45 minutes from the Airport. Driving from Auckland to Waimarama takes just under six hours.