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Lace up your walking shoes and go exploring in this forested valley, which is part of Mt Robertson Scenic Reserve. There are some wonderful hiking and walking trails.
Pakiri Beach – Bring your boogie boards and a picnic and enjoy a day out at what has to be one of the most unspoiled beaches around. The white sand stretches away up the coast, and it’s a perfect spot for beachcombing and body surfing.
Renowned for its rhododendron collection, Pukeiti is a 360 ha rainforest property located between Mount Taranaki and the coast, just south of New Plymouth.
Parnell Rose Gardens – This is one place you really can stop and smell the roses – some 5000 in all! Set within Dove Myer Robinson Park, these gardens are a fragrant city oasis and the perfect place for a lazy stroll.
Piha Beach – The surf’s nearly always up at Piha, so don’t forget your board when you visit here. Piha is one of Auckland’s most loved beaches, and it’s easy to see why - black volcanic sand and rolling breakers give it a wild windswept beauty.
Pack your picnic and your togs, and head to Elaine Bay for this lovely (and reasonably short) walking track in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.
Pakuranga Rotary Walk – Feel like a gentle stroll? Then join the locals on this stunning water’s edge walkway from Pakuranga to Pigeon Mountain. It’s an easy paved path and ideal for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Puhoi Village – Tiny Puhoi is a delightful colonial village, and a favourite spot to soak up the country atmosphere, enjoy a gin and tonic (the only cost involved!) at the old colonial pub, or sample some of the tasty locally made cheeses.
With 30,000ha of native rainforest, mountains and rugged coastal beaches, there’s got to be something here for everyone at this vast National Park.
If you’re in the area, you simply cannot miss a visit here, to one of the clearest waters in the world, and Australasia’s largest freshwater spring.