Re­gional Parks

The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

If the Matakana Coast is the crown perched atop the head of Auck­land, the re­gional parks are its jew­els – sap­phire or emer­ald, de­pend­ing whether you pre­fer shim­mer­ing wa­ter or rolling pad­docks. There are no bet­ter pic­nic spots, swim­ming holes, trees to nap be­neath or walks to wan­der than within these four parks. Go forth and ex­plore, but re­mem­ber to re­spect and pro­tect the con­ser­va­tion ef­forts by leav­ing only foot­prints.

Can’t bear to leave at the end of the day? Pack the tent and sleep­ing bag and set up camp or hire a bach within the park grounds. More­pork and kiwi may not be the qui­etest of sleep­ing part­ners but be­tween their chat­ter and the soft mur­mur of rolling waves, drift­ing off to sleep will be far eas­ier than count­ing the sheep that wan­der the pad­docks.

Tawha­ranui is still rel­a­tively un­known, de­spite be­ing one of the Auck­land re­gion’s most beau­ti­ful parks. With 588 hectares to ex­plore, it is pos­si­ble to spend hours with only the an­i­mals for com­pany

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