When it comes to visitors to the Bay of Plenty, it’s fair to say Tauranga often sits in the shadow of Mount Maunganui’s glorious beach and thriving main drag that hums day and night.
You probably already know that Nelson is the original home of the internationally acclaimed phenomenon known as WOW (World of WearableArt).
Every time I visit Wellington I leave disappointed that I have not been able to cram enough in. Labelled the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet and a ‘locavore’s dream’ by Vogue, Wellington’s hospitality scene seems to be overflowing with energetic creators and collaborators.
Childhood memories of long, winding roads leading to secluded beaches with rustic baches along the shoreline are a far cry from the sophistication of the Matakana region where I now spend my weekends. There’s no other country village in New Zealand that can boast a cinema with three theatres, a purpose-built farmers’ market and a classy, architecturally designed shopping village with smart galleries, excellent boutiques and an award-winning chocolate maker.
Every Raglanite knows the place to start off the day is at Raglan Roast on Volcom Lane. Join the long queue of caffeine-cravers who line up for their hit of coffee, which is roasted fresh on site. If you peer inside you might spy their roasting contraptions and catch a whiff of newly toasted beans in the air.
I’m ashamed to admit that during my first two years in New Zealand, despite a number of trips to Queenstown, I had never thought about visiting Wanaka. It was suggested I pick up a hire car at Queenstown airport and make the drive across.