We do get so carried away with guests that we often send them off to those well known three I just mentioned. Guests want to tick off what they have heard about and get that all important shot to say 'yes, I've been there done that'.
But an incredibly short walk away from Sunlover is our very own Tairua Ocean Beach! Tairua Ocean Beach is a surf beach and is hugely popular amongst the surfies and stand up boarders. I always wonder how those SUP riders even do that. At low tide the beach is safe however as the tide rises so does the steepness of the beach. It really pays to swim between the flags and be aware of any rips or currents. Luckily for us this is a beach that has life guards.
It is such a beautiful beach with wonderful rock pools at each end. At the north end of the beach there is a hidden reserve with a platform. This reserve looks directly down the beach. I love to use it for my beach weddings. Its kind of like going to the beach without getting your feet sandy. The other way we love to use this little reserve is to eat our fish and chips washed down with a local can of beer. Bliss!
A little further north of Tairua and in fact the next bay over (as the crow flies) is Te Karo Bay or as it is known Salilor's Grave. A beautiful beach with golden sands, little river running to the sea and pohutukawa dotting the coastline for shade. I won't tell you the whole story as there are some fabulous information signs at Te Karo Bay however the English named the beach after a sailor who drowned many, many years ago ... William Samson.
This beach is a little flatter and a little safer and a real favourite for locals. Great for us too, as dogs are allowed off lead so Rover is so happy frolicking in the water and chasing his four legged friends. Not many 'tourists' know this beach as the sign post leading to it is your ordinary street sign. This is the type of beach that you will want to pack a picnic as once you get there, really, you just won't want to leave!
It was hard to pick my number three however I think I would be really remiss not to put in Opoutere Beach. There are just so many things I love about this beach. There are days that you will be the only one on the beach. Rolling surf, white, white sand and a pine forest at your back.
It is about a 20 minute drive south of Tairua and once you are there, you will need to park the car and walk for about 10 minutes through a pine forest to get there. However, when the forest is open you can ride your bike there from Pauanui. A beautiful 45 minute bike ride to a stunningly secluded beach. This is what makes it oh so special. Not so many people, stunning beach that makes you feel like you are on a tropical island.
So those are my top 3 for now. It is always changing depending on how I want to use the beach. Swimming, exploring or just reading a book in the sun, we really have a beach for everyone.
We have just spent a wonderful 3 nights at the Sunlover Retreat. This has to be the best accommodation we have stayed in during our 7 weeks of travelling through Australia and New Zealand. Staying with Donna, Chris and Rover (plus the chickens and Mint & Sauce - the sheep
Karen, United Kingdom
Sunlover Retreat was our first stop on our New Zealand holiday and it is hard to imagine we will stay anywhere better during our travels. Having a whole level just for guests works really well. The views are amazing as are the bedrooms and lounge
Heaven on Earth This is a fantastic place to unwind and has the ultimate elevated views of the coastline. Donna and Chris are perfect guests and make your stay so individualised by responding to your needs- for example Donna put on the outside lights when she noticed we were coming back after...
YoungDoctor, New Zealand