If you’re looking for a seaside holiday that’s little more than a hop skip and a jump from the bright lights of Tāmaki Makaurau, how about exploring a trio of coastal holiday parks in Orewa, Whangateau, (near Matakana) and Martins Bay.
These delightful Auckland Council-managed holiday havens are around an hour’s drive from central Auckland, which means less time travelling and more time for fun in the sun. Or plain old relaxing.
Whether you’re looking to hike, fish, cycle, surf or simply enjoy the best nature has to offer on land and sea, next time you’re wondering where to holiday, why not set a course for north?
Ōrewa Beach Holiday Park
You’ll be right at home at this delightful beachside holiday park, which offers standard cabins, self-contained deluxe units, tourist flats, and powered sites for tents, camper vans and caravans. But do book ahead for the much sought after glamping tents, where you’ll enjoy all the charms of camping with none of the rough stuff.
Ōrewa is renowned for a vast expanse of golden sand, the sparkling ocean and plenty of playgrounds, while holiday park guests can enjoy barbecues, watersports, and a boat ramp.
Outside the park, Eaves Scenic Reserve on Old North Rd is a darling selection of short walks, with mature trees that include towering stands of kauri, as well as peeps of sea between the tall trunks of nīkau. The 7.6km cycleway Te Ara Tahuna is another popular pastime; suitable for riders of all ages, it’s a gentle pedal around waterways and wetlands. This is how holidays used to be.
Whangateau Holiday Park
Whangateau Holiday Park is tranquillity personified with cute cabins and powered sites for tents and campers right on the water’s edge. There are also old school caravans for hire.
Boasting excellent amenities, including play areas, barbecues and cooking facilities, the grounds are always immaculate.
Spectacular snorkelling can be round right out front, 45 minutes either side of high tide, with schools of parore, spotties and baby mullet tootling around. Or pop over the hill to Goat Island Marine Reserve where you’ll find fish galore, as well as clearyaks (see-through kayaks) and glass-bottom boat tours. Heavenly seaside lodgings.
Martins Bay Holiday Park
The perfect base for a classic beach getaway with a range of accommodation options. If you want to be close to nature, but not too close, why not try glamping in a deluxe belle tent, with the option of a beachfront stay or a pitch higher up the hillside for magnificent views. If you’re feeling fancy, book the glamping eco tent, and enjoy your own sun-deck and outdoor kitchen.
Just down the road from Snells Beach, Martins Bay has all the usual facilities, plus there’s a trampoline, games and a football table. Pedal karts, kayaks and SUPS can also be hired, while masks, snorkels and boogie boards can be borrowed.
Beyond the holiday park, Scandrett Regional Park offers walks that meander through coastal forest, or you can catch a ferry from Sandspit to Kawau Island and explore Mansion House as proud peacocks strut about the grounds. Brick Bay Wines, with its magnificent sculpture trail and restaurant, is also just down the road.
Martins Bay is your home away from home – only with panoramic views of unspoilt coast at its doorstep.