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NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | Views [536]

With the festive season comes the busy season and tomorrow will see us catching the ferry from Wellington to Picton and moving our way down the South Island to Invercargill over two days. 

I must admit, I love this time of year. The sun shines (usually), people with smiles are out in droves, and it's the time of year when you can just kick back and relax. In my case, I like to find anywhere I can near water, have my bag packed, and lounge in seclusion - tis bliss.

I have a few spots - all very secluded - which I cannot recommend highly enough:

  • Waikawa Beach - Horowhenua near Wellington: you can easily find a spot on this beach and not see another soul. Great swimming beach too.

    Find out more here.

  • Twelve Mile Delta - Queenstown: On the way to Glenorchy from Queenstown, there's a gravel road turnoff. Down the road, there are lots of alcoves along the river, very private, and situated near the lake. You can also camp here for a small fee which is payable when DOC (Department of Conservation) do a walkabout the area during early evening.

    Find out more here.

  • Clutha River - Alexandra: If you find the main camping ground (which is a great experience in itself), there's a track to the river. Along with a river swing, you can walk along the river a bit and set up a nice wee spot for the day. Alexandra is a heat sensation in Summer so make sure you take your sunscreen. There are also some great walks as well as fishing spots.

    Find out more here.

And for the best beach in New Zealand, without a doubt, I suggest Totaranui in the Golden Bay of the South Island; it is the epitome of a South Pacific beach. The sand is golden, the trees are tropical, and the weather is warm. It does get a little full, but it is a vibrant buzz of smiles and happiness. You can access it via Takaka (a NZ gem, well and truly), or by walking the Abel Tasman track. Camping is available at the site through DOC.

Tags: alexandra, central otago, horowhenua, queenstown, south island, spots, summer, swimming, totaranui, wellington


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