The town of Levin serves the local agricultural community. It also has a thriving clothing industry, so is known as a factory outlet shopping destination. With the Tasman Sea coast on one side and the Tararua Ranges on the other, Levin can offer a wide range of outdoor adventures. Lake Horowhenua, a dune lake, is a popular rowing and yachting venue. To the south, Lake Papaitonga has historic connections with the important Maori chief Te Rauparaha. If you walk south from Waitarere Beach, just north-east of Levin, you’ll encounter the rusting remains of the sailing ship Hydrabad, which was blown ashore in 1878. Functional facts: Approx. population 12,300, good range of shops and services, visitor information centre.