Waitarere Beach a sunny, quiet es­cape

The Horowhenua Mail - - WHAT’S ON -

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.

BEACH LIFE

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.

PHOTO: STUFF

Cameron Van Baarle, of Lower Hutt, demon­strates the joys of beach cricket with fam­ily at Waitarere Beach.

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