There’s no shortage of things to see and do (and eat) in Wellington, and you could spend months here just drinking flat white and soaking up the scenery. When you’ve spent some time exploring the city however and feel ready to see some of the surrounding area, take a day trip to nearby Castlepoint. The Maori name for the area is Rangiwhakaoma, which translates as 'where the sky runs'. A hidden gem, "discovered" by Capt. John Cook, this unspoilt area has everything to offer and more.
We decided to visit this place on a Sunday morning, knowing that we had to return back home by the end of the day. Since Castlepoint is definitely not on the typical NZ tourist trail, one has to drive through the countryside, rolling hills and forests (Win-Win).
It took us around 3 hours to get there but believe me when I say that the place is a hidden paradise, a paradise made of blue-green water, lagoons, sea cliffs, and the Castlepoint lighthouse itself.The first thing you see when you arrive is the the north beach, barren and stark with wild, rough water, perfect for surfers. For the less active, the lagoon is situated on the south,tranquil and beautiful.
We climbed up the walkway to the lighthouse lookout and the sight of the ocean and beach was definitely one to be soaked in. We took our time enjoying the view before heading towards the lagoon where we sat on the sand and just stared at the sea for the next couple of hours. No words could describe the feeling of freedom, escaping the chaotic city life and following the sun.
- Make time to stop at the various lookouts along the way. Some of my favourite surprises in New Zealand happened spontaneously on the road, pulling down a street that piqued my curiosity or stopping at a picnic view point in the middle of nowhere.
-There is no restaurant in this tiny town. We stopped for some fish and chips at the only beachfront store that there is and the food was nothing to write home about. Better be prepared beforehand!
-Take a windproof layer with you, the place is renowned for the wind.
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