When you head north out of Auckland on SH1, after all the northern surburbs, you hit a town called Orewa. Back in the day, I am sure this was a good day trip from Auckland, but now with all the growth, I am sure there are people that live here that commute to Auckland every day. It’s not that far, but a good 1.5 hours on the bus each direction every day is not really my idea of a good time. But a price to pay to live in a super cute beach town! The beach here is fantastic. After the nearly non-stop rain of Northland, my sister and I worked out way back to Auckland and stopped here for an afternoon. If I have known the weather would be such shit up north, we would have come back to Auckland early and just came here every day, because we had a car. It’s a quick 30 minute drive on the weekends. But oh well! We had a fantastic afternoon lounging on the beautiful, huge beach eating pub food from one of the surf clubs.
I also came up this way twice to go to the Waiwera Spa and Hot Pools. I came on a weekend in June because my neck had been killing me for months and I wanted to relax. Plus, my room at the lodge I was living in lacked heat and I wanted to heat up so much. It was busy and packed, but I brought a good book and sat in the adults pool reading all afternoon. A year later, when I realized I had a week off between my job ending and my visa expiring, I made a note to head on back up there. This time I went in the middle of the week and spent most of my time in the movie pool watching whatever movie and tv shows they were running as the place was nearly empty, it being a weekday and all. After school some kids came, but it wasn’t nearly as crowded as the weekend.
This place is also home to my most favorite bottled water ever. Normally I am totally not a water snob, as I drink too much of it to care. A tap hasn’t gotten me sick yet so bottled water is usually a special occasion for me. I think I just liked the shape of the bottle once, so I bought it and it was so good! When my sister came, I made us buy a bottle for her to try and on my last week when I came to the spa I bought a large bottle and used the container for the rest of my travels in Australia until I realized that the bottle was going to break and I wanted to bring it home with me, so I packed it away and bought a 99cent bottle at Coles to get me through the rest of my time. I still have that bottle! In fact, I found a store near my parents house that sells it (so expensive though) and I actually bought a bottle and all they sold was glass, so I actually use the bottle as a bookshelf holder right now. I just love it.
Moral: Orewa and Waiwera are great little day trips from Auckland! The spa, the beach, they can’t be beat! They were my favorite Auckland getaways when I lived in town.