Rainbows End is a tiny coastal settlement about five minutes drive from the popular Matakana village. The mixture of homes and holiday baches nestle on the ridge among trees overlooking Sandspit and out to Kawau Bay. The tranquil location has an amazing mix of coastal and country views. It has a boat ramp next to a small reserve where children can kick a ball around and paddle when the tide is in. Rainbows End is close to Matakana village, which has a huge range of attractions including the Saturday farmers’ market, cafes, pubs, restaurants, a boutique cinema and a small shopping centre. Omaha’s surf beach is about eight minutes drive from Matakana and about another 25 minutes drive on a gravel road is Tawharanui Regional Park – a predator-free fenced open sanctuary. Snells Beach and Warkworth provide plenty of shopping or you can catch the ferry from Sandspit out to Kawau Island. Martin’s Bay, about seven minutes drive from Snells Beach has a boat ramp and a safe swimming beach. And there’s also Scandrett Regional Park and Scotts Landing – part of Mahurangi Regional Park – to explore. Don’t forget the marine reserve at Goat Island Bay, just north of Leigh.