Waitarere Beach a sunny, quiet escape
For this excursion, dips her toes into the waters of Waitarere Beach.
Waitarere Beach is a sleepy coastal town about 40 minutes south of Palmerston North by car.
It packs out in summer with city dwellers wanting a bit of the beach life, but for some people it is a permanent home that they wouldn’t give up easily.
Frank Taylor used to deliver milk to Waitarere letterboxes, when such a job existed.
When the milk run ran dry he moved to the town and bought the Four Square. He’s been there about 16 years. Although the shop was always busy, it was an easy lifestyle where you got to know all the locals, Taylor said.
Everyone comes to the shop, which is just a few hundred metres from the beach. ‘‘It’s a nice, pretty relaxed area, and no-one ever seems to have any issues, which makes working easy.’’
When Taylor isn’t at the Four Square he’s getting some sun at the beach or patrolling the area with other lifeguards, including Teina Kiriona.
Kiriona was born in Waitarere, but now goes to university in Palm- erston North.
This doesn’t stop him from returning most weekends though, as he enjoys the quiet beach lifestyle.
‘‘It’s just good to come here and chill out. It’s quiet and the community is close-knit.’’
Growing up in Waitarere was something special, as everyone attended the same school, Kiriona said.
Once the bell rung, kids would spend their time hopping from one friend’s place to another, before hitting the beach.
While the town is sleepy in some aspects, it does hold its adventures when summer rolls in. It hosts the Big Dig in January, and the Waitarere Forest Run, which attractsthousands of people, in April.
Population: About 580. District: Horowhenua District Council. Claim to fame: Easy, relaxed beach environment.
FIVE THINGS TO DO:
Go for a surf or swim at the beach. Chat with the Four Square owner, who knows everyone in town. Have a toasted sandwich at The Beach Cafe. The annualWaitarere Forest Run - 5km walk or amarathon. Watch the sunset with a blanket on the beach.
Cameron Van Baarle, of Lower Hutt, demonstrates the joys of beach cricket with family at Waitarere Beach.