Five Stunning Summer Spots to Hit Up in New Zealand
It’s the first day of summer in New Zealand, and the sunshine is well on its way!
There are no shortage of contenders when it comes to beautiful natural spots in which to dream away some summer days. Many places are only an hour or two out of major cities, so you’re really spoiled for choice when looking for a weekend getaway.
It’s tough to whittle the list down with all the options available, but here are five of our favourite summer spots.
1. Rere Rock Slide, Gisborne
New Zealand boasts a number of natural waterslides, thanks to mosses, submissive geology and the smoothing effects of running water. But few match the magnitude of the Rere Rock Slide, near Gisborne.
At 60 metres long (197 ft), the Rere rock slide promises a decent ride. Body boards, inflatable mattresses and inner tubes are all popular choices with which to tackle the slide. Hours of fun for the whole family!
2. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula
At this popular tourist spot on the Coromandel Peninsula, you can rock on up to the beach at low tide, dig a hole in the sand and soak in hot water that seeps up from below. The local cafe rents out spades if you fancy your own hole, or you poach another person's pool after they've left, cuckoo-nest-styles.
If all else fails, cuddle up and make friends with the locals, sharing of pool space is encouraged on Hot Water Beach.
3. Lake Tekapo, Central Otago
Are you keen on night skies unmarred by light pollution and poor air quality? Lake Tekapo is a world class stargazing spot, that lies beneath the Aoraki MacKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – the largest dark sky reserve in the world.
You’ll have no problem filling the daylight hours either. The alpine waters of Lake Tekapo are as crystal clear as the night sky, and in summertime the lupin flowers paint brilliant hues of pinks, purples, whites, blues and greens all over the landscape.
4. Great Barrier Island, off the coast of Auckland
Just 90km (56mi) northeast of Auckland city lies Great Barrier Island, described as being "a world of it's own". Not to be confused with the Australian reef of the same name, Great Barrier Island is similarly blessed with natural beauty.
Rugged peaks, hidden waterfalls and countless beaches and coves make the whole island one great, big beautiful summer spot to explore by foot, bicycle, kayak or surfboard.
5. Pelorus River, Marlborough
The bridge over the Pelorus River on State Highway 6, has long been a popular swimming hole for Kiwis. You can also kayak the river, walk up the valley, and camp next to the water at Kahikitea Flat.
The deep green of the river, along with the surrounding native bush catchment make the river a perfect backdrop – it was one of the filming locations for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.