THE VOICE COLUMN
So here we are at Level 1, and it is an opportune time to start looking at what the north coast area might look like in the “new normal”.
It will be an unknown length of time before cruise ship passengers and air travellers visit our shores again, but we believe in attracting New Zealand residents to our region. A former New Zealand Tourism advertising statement of “Don’t leave town ’til you’ve seen the country” is very apt, and we look forward to discussion with such entities as Enterprise Dunedin about promoting our north coast area with a view to increasing job opportunities here.
We wonder how many readers have visited the hidden gems we have here. Working northwards from our southeastern flank we have the amazing Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Descending into Waitati, we have the award-winning garden centre and its cafe and the high-quality art gallery. A short drive later there is the opportunity for a long walk along Doctors Point Beach. Head out on to the highway and pause for an ice cream at Blueskin General Store.
About 2km along the highway at Evansdale, you will find Arc Brewery and function rooms, a real gem which is becoming well known among discerning beer tasters. Turn right towards Warrington, offload your surfboard and enjoy the surf at Warrington Beach or just loaf around in the playground with the children.
Heading along Coast Rd there are spectacular views of the sea and foreshore and you end up in Karitane. You can top up with petrol here and have another ice cream at the store.
Back to the highway, and a few minutes later you arrive at Waikouaiti. After a tour through the museum (a real gem) you can go shopping down the main street and then pop into the Golden Fleece tavern. Then you can head down for a stroll along the 4km of the spectacular beach, stay overnight at the Golden Fleece Motel and, in the morning, head south and view our wonderful part of the country from a different angle.