New Zealand’s Finest Seaside: Ōakura, Taranaki; Wainui, Gisborne; St Clair, Otago – NZ Herald

After we launched our quest to search out New Zealand’s finest seaside, we gave readers the chance to vote for his or her favorite summer season spots. This week we have been profiling your prime 10. To spice issues up, we requested the Herald Journey staff to give you three wildcards. Preserve your votes rolling in (scroll right down to the shape on the backside). We’ll announce the winner within the Herald on Sunday on January 31.

Herald Journey editor Stephanie Holmes admits it was unattainable to incorporate each seaside Kiwis know and love in our shortlist.

“In selecting our wildcards, we hoped to offer a broader illustration of the variety of seashores across the nation. Northland, Coromandel and the Bay of Lots had been already properly represented, so we blended issues up a bit with a west coast seaside (Ōakura, Taranaki), a favorite for surfers (Wainui, Gisborne) and a surprising southern metropolis spot (St Clair, Otago).”

Head out on the Pacific Coast Freeway and 10 minutes from the centre of Gisborne you may come to Wainui, gateway to 4km of white sand and Pacific breakers, world-famous – and never simply in Aotearoa.

The stunning Wainui Beach - 10 minutes from the centre of Gisborne. Photo / Alan Gibson
The beautiful Wainui Seaside – 10 minutes from the centre of Gisborne. Photograph / Alan Gibson

“We stay in a surfer’s mecca,” writes native journalist, photographer and surfer Grey Clapham.

“An enormous proportion of people that stay in our neighborhood would outline themselves as surfers. The exercise of browsing, and the tradition that parallels the game, continues to have an enormous affect on the social and political dynamic of our neighborhood.”

He quotes Garry Quinn, whose sons Maz and Jae took Gizzy’s surf model across the globe: “Browsing pervades the whole lot everybody does right here. Our lives are designed across the waves. Up and down the seaside there are folks from all walks of life – docs, legal professionals, enterprise homeowners, tradesmen, unemployed – all organising their lives round the necessity to go online.”

Riding one of Wainui Beach's world-famous surf breaks. Photo / Alan Gibson
Driving one in all Wainui Seaside’s world-famous surf breaks. Photograph / Alan Gibson

Writes Clapham: “Browsing is now a benign mix of the whole lot good about being on the seaside… It’s totally vibrant and really wholesome. And it is nonetheless free. Nobody has but give you an idea to cost folks for the usage of the waves. The seashores and the waves belong to all of us.”

Folks swim at Wainui too, although Surf Life Saving NZ’s findabeach.co.nz cautions of swells, reefs, rocks and rips. “Swimmers can be properly suggested to swim within the patrolled space always as rips kind shortly and the dimensions of the surf modifications quickly.”

To the outsider, Ōakura is a seaside village that takes 45 seconds to drive by way of on Surf Freeway 45, although most will probably be tempted to cease for the well-known black-sand seaside, cafes and craft galleries.

The “world’s greatest surfboard” simply earlier than the petrol station ought to trace there’s one thing to see right here.

Sand between the toes at Ōakura Beach, south of New Plymouth. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Sand between the toes at Ōakura Seaside, south of New Plymouth. Photograph / Kenny Rodger

New Plymouth locals know the place, quarter-hour’ drive south of the town, as one of many district’s most prosperous suburbs. Homes on the water’s edge are valued as much as $2.6 million.

So, as in Mangawhai, one other of our featured seashores, there was appreciable angst when a developer deliberate a 399-home subdivision in 2018, later downsized to 144 properties. The neighborhood opposed the scheme and final 12 months an unbiased commissioner supported them. The council has now voted it down.

For the foreseeable, Ōakura will stay because it’s lengthy been: a well-groomed, well-maintained seaside city.

Two surfers make their way into the water at Ōakura Beach. Photo / Dave Young
Two surfers make their method into the water at Ōakura Seaside. Photograph / Dave Younger

In all probability the most well-liked swimming seaside in Taranaki, Ōakura has fairly a steep gradient, sturdy rips round stream mouths and a nasty seaside dump and inshore undertow, in keeping with findabeach.co.nz. Nevertheless, the seaside is normally fairly secure for households if waves are even and 1 metre or much less. Swim between the flags and take the lifeguards’ recommendation right here.

Whereas it is solely a seaside break, the browsing is usually superb for all ages and expertise. It is best surfed on mid to low tide in a south to southeast wind.

Within the Deep South, the road you may most frequently hear is that “there’s nothing between St Clair and the Antarctic,” which gives you utterly the incorrect thought about (a) the closest seaside to Dunedin metropolis and (b) Dunedin’s hottest seaside.

Cafes and bars on the Esplanade, a long sweep of white sand, a Southern surfers' paradise -  and a hot salt water pool, to boot ... Dunedin's St Clair Beach has it all. Photo / Dunedin NZ
Cafes and bars on the Esplanade, a protracted sweep of white sand, a Southern surfers’ paradise – and a sizzling salt water pool, in addition … Dunedin’s St Clair Seaside has all of it. Photograph / Dunedin NZ

For many years, the curl of white sand was best-known for New Zealand’s most constant surf break and its saltwater sizzling swimming pools however there’s been a – sorry – sea change in recent times. It is the place to see and be seen.

All-day and night-time cafes and bars line the esplanade, there is a breathtaking view of the Southern Ocean, surfers take pleasure in these waves, there is a new playground and the swimming pools had been zhuzhed up not so way back.

St Clair and its neighbour St Kilda are nice seashores going through on to the Pacific. Each have surf patrols all through the summer season, however St Clair is our winner for these additional leisure alternatives.

Our outdated chum findabeach.co.nz says it is properly suited to household swimming, though it has highly effective rips and holes. The seaside typically will get giant swells and waves pound towards the seawall. Swimmers ought to use the patrolled space and ask St Clair lifeguards for recommendation.

The Southern splendour of Dunedin's St Clair Beach. Photo / Tourism Dunedin
The Southern splendour of Dunedin’s St Clair Seaside. Photograph / Tourism Dunedin

The open-air swimming pools are nestled on the rocks on the finish of the promenade. Opened in 1884, heated within the Nineteen Sixties and renovated in 2000, they’re in a spectacular spot, with waves crashing onto the boulders beneath. They’re nice for individuals who love swimming in saltwater however favor to do it in 28C consolation.

Benefit from the solar, benefit from the water however hold your self and your loved ones secure this summer season. Try these websites earlier than you hit the seaside – watersafety.org.nz/seashores and surflifesaving.org.nz/stay-safe for water security fundamentals and lawa.org.nz/explore-data/swimming for water high quality.

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