I hate to admit this, but I have lived in Hamilton for nearly 10 years and have never made the effort to drive out to Port Waikato. So, take a cold autumn day, a bored 4-legged assistant and a camera that needed to be used and off we went.
I admit that half-way there I hit the "do I keep going and hope for the best or should I just turn round and go home again?" point. Luckily I decided to keep going.
Port Waikato is a very small settlement right on the west coast. For me, it felt like going home as I grew up in a similar community. A wild and rugged coastline, black iron sand and a stiff breeze blowing off the sea. And hardly a person in sight. There is a small general store which sells the best lamb and roast vegetable pies ever, places to buy takeaways and some wonderful spots to take photographs but that is all that is obvious for tourists to enjoy when they arrive.
Would I recommend that overseas tourists visit Port Waikato? Definitely not. It is well off the beaten track and
there are other beaches that are as good or better which are much easier to access.
Would I recommend that Kiwis visit Port Waikato? Yes. If I was going to write a book, this is where I would go for complete peace and quiet. But don't just go for a day. The drive over the country roads is too long for that unless you are really keen. Go for a week and take the dog and kids. Just remember to stock up with everything you could possibly need because you are quite a way from any shops.
Highlights: the peace and quiet, the photo ops, the beach, the wildlife.
Dogs: plenty of beaches to let your best friend have a run on.
Kids: plenty of beaches for them to use up their excess energy on! Shells to find, fish to catch, sand castles to build. Plus some good playground facilities and toilets/changing rooms in several places.
Geocaches: We searched for one at a lovely little memorial but it was a DNF. Maybe you will have more luck. Or perhaps you would like to place an
Munzees: No munzees!!!!!! Maybe someone should place a few.
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