On the Beaten track: Whiritoa and Onemana
We have a two-for-one deal for this month’s On The Beaten Track, where if you are driving down from the Coromandel (which many of you road-trippers could well be doing) we have got a tow great stops that are worth stopping in to make the trip that much more worthwhile!
Located between Whangamata and Waihi Beach if you are heading to Tauranga from the Coromandel, you will likely pass this small beach-front village of under 100 that’s home to a general store and a breath-taking beach that’s popular with surfers and photographers the like.
A 15 minute walk will take you to the secluded Waimama Bay that features white sand, crystal clear waters and a canopy of gnarly Pohutukawa trees. A popular spot for romance and picnics on the beach! If you are looking to surf you’ll want to look no further as the beach has a steep shore that creates a solid beach break for the experienced surfer chasing short rides and a wandering sandbar for those keen to search. The heavy shore breaks can be dangerous, the beach is patrolled by Surf Life Saving New Zealand in the summer.
Located on the opposite side of Whitanaga but on the same highway, you will pass another local hidden gem, Onemana. As you enter you’re greeted with an expansive view of the sea and a glimpse of off-shore islands. Once you reach the foreshore the bay is revealed – lovely golden sands and a curving crescent-shaped beach.
At the other end of the crescent more pohutukawas and a large rocky area provide the perfect spot for snorkeling. A few short walks you can find a small waterfall tumbling from the cliffs towards the northern end of the beach, and a fresh water stream piped through from the hills, which flows into the sea. Between this and the grassy reserve is a small native seabird breeding area – much smaller and less official than the beautiful and extensive one on the Wharekawa sandspit at Opoutere, but nevertheless hosting two or three pairs of oystercatchers, many terns and seagulls and two or three pairs of New Zealand dotterel.
Te beach is popular with fishing, diving, snorkeling and surf spot the small township contains a well-stocked dairy, grocery store a restaurant and a variety of craftspeople – well worth the stop!