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Having moved to the Wairarapa three years ago, we like getting out and exploring this wonderful, largely unspoilt area of New Zealand. We are constantly amazed by what is on our doorstep. We did this particular day trip in the middle of winter, suitably dressed with wind-proof, warm clothing! We plan to go back in summer and I suspect it will be equally as stunning but quite different.
This excursion led us to the coast, north of Castlepoint. A lovely drive of about 1 hour from The Summit Lodge. Castlepoint in itself is worth a visit with its majestic cliffs, large lagoon and picturesque lighthouse but we decided to explore the coast north of Castlepoint.
Passing through farmland and pine forest on the way, with views of the Tararua ranges, rivers and wide open spaces, the drive itself is worth doing. A quick stop at Tinui to wander through the eclectic craft shop/museum and then, just after the Castlepoint Golf Club we turned left into Mataikona Road, a road that winds over the coastal cliffs. We were treated to stunning views of beach, sea and and out toward the Castlepoint lighthouse in the distance. On the day we went the waves were most impressive!
As we drove along the road we passed through several small, traditional bach (holiday home) settlements clustered around small bays. Hardly another person to be seen and such stunning coastal scenery! We parked the car for a walk along the beach, suitably attired, and we discovered the most amazing rock formations – miles of them, all channelled out by the sea! Great for shell collection also – paua shells and large snail-like shells with mother-of-pearl colours on the onside.
Back to the car and we were very glad of the hot soup we had packed! No-where out here to buy lunch so go prepared.
This really is 100% Pure New Zealand - a long way from the usual tourist haunts - go check it out.