Summer Holidays in New Zealand: Profiling Waikanae

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Nestled between the beautiful, vast waters of the Tasman Sea on one side and the wild Tararua Ranges on the other, the town of Waikanae is the perfect setting for a great summer holiday for families, groups and individuals. Whether you just want to lie on the beach and relax or engage in more adventurous activities, the doors of El Rancho are wide open. To make your summer holiday nothing less than memorable, here are some of the best things on offer in the beachside town of Waikanae.

1. The best beach holiday

The beautiful Waikanae Beach attracts numerous tourists every year. Here, you can relax in a myriad of ways; take a leisurely stroll alongside the peaceful waters, spend a lazy afternoon on the crystal sands taking in nature’s beauty or engage in one of the several water sports available. It is especially ideal for families and groups.

2. Go bird watching

If you are a bird watching enthusiast, head straight for Waikanae Estuary Bird Tours. This popular hot spot sees scores of bird species living there or passing through each year. You will have a personal guide to walk you along areas and paths with excellent viewing positions.

Please note that bird watching tours at the estuary are charged on an hourly basis. Make sure to call or email ahead to confirm prices and other essential details.

3. Enjoy the best of nature on foot

Hemi Matenga Memorial Park Scenic Reserve is a thickly forested 330-hectare forest forming a natural backdrop to Waikanae. Popular activities within the reserve include hiking and trekking. You can opt for the easy half hour Kohekohe Walk or climb to the highest point 514m above sea level. The hike to the top takes around four hours.

4. See antique and unusual cars 

Though not technically in Waikanae, Southward Car Museum is just a seven minute drive away in Paraparaumu. Here you will find one of New Zealand’s largest collections of antique cars.

 5. Feed the birds and eels

Nga Manu Nature Reserve provides a unique opportunity to interact with the best of nature, both flora and fauna. Covering 13 hectares, the reserve has a swamp forest teeming with different kinds of plants. Overall, the reserve boasts of more than 700 plant species and an impressive diversity of birds.

Take your family to experience eel feeding at 2pm. There is also a bird feeding opportunity. Other amenities available include picnic sites and bush walks for families.

6. For art lovers 

Whether you love making art or feasting your eyes on it, Mahara Art Gallery is the place to head for some of the best art along Kapiti Coast. You will be treated to different types of art featuring New Zealand’s nature, culture and history.

El Rancho

If you are looking for accommodation in Waikanae, try El Rancho. The venue provides a great setting for family holidays, Christian camps, school camps and any other group event and they welcome groups from all over New Zealand.

Founded on Christian ideals, El Rancho provides fun, safe and up-skilling experiences for groups and individuals. The venue can host groups of up to 500 people and also provides safe camping spots for families and friends. Just visit the El Rancho website www.elrancho.co.nz to make a booking for your accommodation in Waikanae!

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