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10 secret kiwi gems you probably haven’t seen

This post was originally published on this site

 There are many hidden treasures in our backyard. Most of us know about Cathedral Cove, Franz Joseph, Lake Tekapo and Hot Water Beach. In this post we have gone even deeper off the beaten track and discovered some real gems that you may not have even heard of and some of them are closer to you than you think! 

1) Blue lakes

Located in the Nelson Lakes National Park, The Blue Lake was scientifically proven to be the clearest natural body of fresh water in the world. According to Niwa, the visibility in the lake is up to 80 metres. Fancy a dip?

2) The Mermaid Pools, Matapouri Bay

A ten minute drive from Tutukaka, lies Matapouri Bay’s white sandy beach and crystal clear waters. Over the hill rests nature’s perfect swimming pool (The Mermaid Pools). 

3) Hokianga


 
3.5 hours drive North of Auckland and a quick boat ride across the harbour will take you to truely unique sand dunes which angle directly into the Tasman Sea. Walk up the dunes and slide down on a boogie board and splash into the ocean. 

4) Blue Spring, Putaruru 

Good things don’t always come easy. To get to the Blue Spring you must follow a track for about 4.5km. It is not all bad, walking though native bush abundant with ferns and exotic looking flora. Over half of New Zealand’s bottled water comes from this majestic Spring. The car park is on Whites Road, near Putaruru which is 2.5 hours from Auckland, 45 minutes from Hamilton. 

5) Rere Rock Slide, Gisborne 

We’ve all boosted down water slides, sand dunes and hills. Take it to the next level and grab either a boogie board, a biscuit, lilo or your choice of sliding equipment and plunge down 60 metres of rock face.

6) Castle Hill- ‘The spiritual centre of the universe’

Just 100km from Christchurch accommodates thousands of boulders scattered throughout a large farm which is surrounded by the picturesque Southern Alps. The Dalai Lama labeled Castle Hill “ The Spiritual Centre of the Universe.” Here, not only can you appreciate the aesthetics, you can partake in the growing sport of ‘Bouldering’. Check out the video shot by a drone and see if you agree with the name.   

7) Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

Walk through a 1870s hand carved tunnel to a secluded beach and admire Otago’s spectacular, rugged coastline. It is best to visit Tunnel Beach at low tide so you can step foot on the truely amazing beach.

8) Te Waikoropupu Springs, Golden Bay

Perhaps the South Island’s best kept secret. Stare at all the wonderful different colours and light playing under the water. Again, another gem with some of the clearest water fresh water in the world. 

9) Pancake rocks

The Pancake rocks are of one the many wonders on our jagged west coast. Check out giant limestone rocks which have naturally been crafted into the shape of pancakes. Here you can also see the ocean explode through blowholes at high tide. Don’t miss.

10) Kerosene Creek

Down a dirt road and then after a short walk you will discover a thermal waterfall which is set in native bush. Need I say more?

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Danny Pritchard
Co-Founder, D U F F L E  &  C O