Trying to decide where to stay for our last night with the campervan from Pacific Horizons, we spotted Kawhia on the map. It’s out on the west coast of New Zealand, and looked to be somewhat close to Auckland.
Kawhia might look like it’s close to Auckland, but on windy roads at night, Kawhia ia quite a long ways away.
However, going to Kawhia was worthwhile.
You have to time it right (we didn’t this time), but if you get to the beach at low tide, you can dig a pool on the beach and have your very own hot springs pool. When the tide comes in to Kawhia, it buries up the underground bubbles, but at low tide, you can have a hot pool.
We will have to go back to Kawhia to experience this phenomenon of hot pool beaches, but it’s definitely something we want to partake of before leaving New Zealand.
What else makes Kawhia special? It’s one of the oldest known points where the ancestors of the Maori first arrived in New Zealand. On the Marae (a communal place for a Maori tribe), a waka (Maori word for transportation vehicle – in this case a large sea faring canoe) is buried, which was reportedly buried here sometime around 1300 AD. Thus, this area has great significance for some of the Maori of New Zealand.
Kawhia is also a place of amazing views and quiet evenings, with clear star-filled skies.
If you are willing to brave the windy road, Kawhia (like pretty much everywhere we’ve been in New Zealand) is worth a visit.