After being in one spot for the past six months and settling into our new home in Auckland, I have started feel that travel itch. When we were full-time traveling in May through December of 2016, I truly loved the "newness" of waking up in a different spot every couple of days, exploring new areas and discovering new things to do. We decided to head up to Matapouri for the weekend, thinking that a weekend getaway would be the perfect cure for my wanderlust. So we booked a little bach (the New Zealand term for a modest beach house), packed up the car (which with three kids looked like we were heading out on a month-long getaway), and headed north. We had no plans other than sitting by the seaside, building sandcastles, hunting for seashells, beachside bbqs, and a few hikes to secluded beaches.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed in a family bach, but there are so many amazing places to stay via Airbnb. If you click this link you can get $40 off your first time booking an Airbnb! And click here to learn what to look for when booking an Airbnb with kids!
WHAT TO DO
This is a relatively easy hike that ends in a secluded bay with beautiful turquoise water and white sand beaches.
This is an amazing hike that you can take during low tide that leads to a natural made "pool" in the rocks on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There is a steep incline at the beginning and you have to use a rope to pull yourself up. We opted not to do it this trip since we thought it might be a little difficult with a baby, but are hoping to come and do it when the weather gets a little warmer and it will be more enjoyable to swim in the pool. Holden and Dustin did it last year and it remains one of Holden's fondest memories of our travels.
There are so many different colors, sizes, and shapes of shells in the sand on Matapouri that you will be amazed at the treasures this beach holds. It's like a real life treasure hunt :)
WHERE TO EAT
We picked up sausages, bread, and a few other necessities at the local market (there isn't a "proper" grocery store) and bbq'ed by the seaside. The free electric bbq makes it incredibly easy and the large grass area is perfect for letting the kids get all of their energy out before bedtime.
ON THE WAY THERE
An impressive waterfall a short walk (less than two minutes) from the parking lot and a great spot to stop and let the little ones stretch their legs and nurse the baby.
Waipu Cove Glowworms
Bring your own flashlights and stop at this unguided cave to see glowworms. Walk just a few feet into the cave and you'll see glowworms all around you and might even see an eel or two in the stream. Just remember it gets very muddy after a rain.
Don't forget to pack these travel accessories to make your trip run smoothly!