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Regional Parks

When was the last time you stayed in a park?

Danielle Wright
13 September 2011

There’s no better family escape than to a lovely little bach in one of New Zealand’s spectacular seaside locations. And with bookings taken six months in advance, now is the time to book for summer fun. Here are some of our favourites near Auckland:


Tawharanui Bach

Tawharanui is the first beach outside Auckland that we really fell in love with. It’s set in New Zealand’s first integrated open sanctuary so the wildlife is abundant, the landscape full of native trees and shrubs and plenty of cows munching on grass overlooking breathtaking cliff-top views of the whitest sandy beach down below. The bach itself has three bedrooms and is close to the water’s edge. There’s plenty to explore here, just 90km from Auckland.


Awhitu House

Awhitu House was built in the 1930s and is located just inside the entrance to Awhitu regional park, five minutes walk from the waterfront. The spectacular drive through the peninsula takes in rolling pastures and an excursion to the Manukau Heads Lighthouse is a must-do while you’re here. Awhitu regional park offers a working farm and historic homestead, as well as walks and mountain bike trails, pohutakawa-fringed swimming bays and long sandy beaches.


Barr Cottage

On the other side of the Manukau Harbour, once a major entranceway to Auckland, is Huia. It’s here that Barr Cottage was built by Bill Barr between 1935 and 1940 using materials reused and recycled from the original Barr cottage of the late 1880s, which once stood alongside. Huia has a great early settlers museum, art shop and 100-year-old general store, as well as being situated nearby to the wild west coast beach at Whatipu and the calmer Cornwallis with its long wharf and a bay where seals can be seen in summer.


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