Living the dream in Whangamata

Pronounced Fung-uh-ma-tah. I was lucky enough to live in this idyllic surf town for three months. I worked part-time in a bar and spent my days kayaking, surfing, swimming, sunbathing and reading. The waves here are perfect, good for beginners too. It has a cool vibe, and some good summer activities and festivals.

The huge beach is beautiful, clean, and safe for swimming. There are festivals and competitions throughout the year, and it’s never hard to find a quiet spot to relax. I spent most of my time in Whanga on this beach.

Make sure you get out onto the water while you’re there. Whether your surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, riding along in a speedboat or just swimming, the waves are perfect and the water is warm. Paradise!

One of my favourite things to do is kayaking, and there are a lot of places to explore here. You can follow the coast either way to find hidden beaches and towering rock stacks, go into the harbour or up the estuary. The highlight is a paddle out to Donut Island, kayak around it until you find the entrance into the center of the island where you’ll find a ring of beaches surrounded by caves and covered at the top by trees, like something out of a movie.

Drive to different areas up and down the coast, there are some great short walks with amazing views over the town and beaches. Onemana (pronounced Oh-nee-ma-na) beach, just north of Whanga is another beautiful spot for a day trip if you want a change of scenery.

You can view the full alum here.

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