My Auckland: Bucklands Beach

By Alexia Santamaria

Karla and Paul Coward are committed Bucklands Beachers, Karla having lived there her entire life (a third generation Bucklands Beach resident) and Paul having moved there 14 years ago when they married. They say the natural beauty of the area and sea views makes them think they'll never ever move away. They tell Alexia Santamaria about their suburb.

Karla and Paul Coward with kids Ryan (10) and Tiana (7) on the boardwalk from Little Bucklands Beach to Half Moon Bay marina. Photo / Natalie Slade
Karla and Paul Coward with kids Ryan (10) and Tiana (7) on the boardwalk from Little Bucklands Beach to Half Moon Bay marina. Photo / Natalie Slade

We just love Bucklands Beach and are very much part of the community, school and local area. We love the feeling of walking down the street and always bumping into someone we know. It's a very tight-knit community and many people have lived here their whole life.

We haven't even been able to move out of our street, we like it so much. This is the third house we've owned in Hattaway Avenue.

We're hoping one day we'll make it to the waterfront but in the meantime we'll just enjoy the sea views from here.

The kids go to the local school, Bucklands Beach Primary, and in summer they fly in the door, drop their bags and head straight for the beach. They'll often meet friends and we think it's a lovely way for them to grow up instead of being cooped up inside. We really want them to experience the sort of childhood both of us enjoyed.

Our favourite family times are sitting on the beach with an ice cream and watching the yachts sailing up the estuary for the Friday night rum races.

A large percentage of the Bucklands Beach community are boat people and there are three boat ramps available, providing fantastic access to the islands of the Gulf. Many of New Zealand's best windsurfers come from around here and windsurfers are part of the scenery all year round.

A new boardwalk has been installed which links the beach to Half Moon Bay Marina and Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. The Marina complex is under development at the moment with new restaurants, bars and a mini-supermarket opening shortly. This is also where the ferry departs for the city - a mere 35-minute journey. This takes away the stress of driving and parking for those of us who work in the city. There is also a ferry service to Rangitoto and Waiheke Islands.

Our favourite place to eat is The Beach House. The views are stunning, the decor stylish and we love the food. Our favourite from the menu is the seafood platter which lets you sample lots of fresh New Zealand seafood. We can also recommend the rack of lamb where the presentation is so incredible it's like art on a plate.

We are spoiled for beautiful walks. You can't go too far without stumbling across a stunning view.

Our absolute favourite would have to be Musick Point. There is a reason why this is a popular destination for wedding photographers. We honestly don't think there's a better view anywhere in the world. The road leads right through the golf course and when you get to the end the view of the Hauraki Gulf is beyond breathtaking.

Even though we've lived here forever, we never take its beauty for granted and count ourselves incredibly lucky to wake up to it every day.

Karla and Paul's Picks

The Beach House, The Parade, Bucklands Beach. Enjoy the amazing food while watching the constantly changing waterfront scenery and the sun set behind Rangitoto.

Musick Point, Bucklands Beach. Stunningly beautiful views where the islands of the Hauraki Gulf look so close. Take a picnic or just go up for a stroll.

Boardwalk, end of Little Bucklands Beach, between Bucklands Beach and Half Moon Bay Marina. Walk along the beach, across the boardwalk and check out all the gorgeous boats that berth there.

- NZ Herald

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