Great NZ Beaches: Daniel Kereopa

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One of the things Kiwis living overseas often say they miss is our beaches. At summertime, we head for the beach and many of us engage in some water sport, being it surfing, boating or just fishing! We talked to a selection of people about which of the many, are the country’s greatest beaches. Today surfer Daniel Kereopa shares his favourite beaches. What do you think?

Manu Bay. Photo / Brendon O'Hagan
Manu Bay. Photo / Brendon O'Hagan

Daniel Kereopa is a surfing champ and has been surfing competitively since 1990.

1. Porpoise Bay, Catlins: It's a really quiet beach but has really good waves. It's still pretty pristine. There are only a few houses popping out if you start going away from the beach. It's really nice to just be there by yourself. It's one particular beach that I like to go to once or twice a year. I first discovered Porpoise Bay when a group of surfers were invited to a big wave competition held in the remote, wild location. It was incredible. A lot of those guys keep going down there,

2. Manu Bay, Raglan: It's the spot that looked after me so it's one of the favourites. I learnt to surf at Manu Bay. It's also the only beach where I can comfortably spend time without surfing because Manu Bay's beauty lets me enjoy the scenery and relax with friends even when the sea is flat. I have met many surfers over the years, and a lot of them love Manu Bay and I enjoy meeting up with these old friends who pass through Raglan from time to time. You've forgotten that you've been talking to them for two or three hours. If the waves are good, you go surfing. The surf dictates a lot down here.

When you ask a surfer down here what constitutes a good wave, they'll all have a different opinion. Manu Bay is also a good, safe place for youngsters to learn how to surf.

3. Mahia, Hawkes Bay: I don't have any specific spots. I'm naturally drawn to places that are quite similar to Raglan. While Mahia resembles my home and is a beautiful part of the world, there aren't too many surfers on the East Coast beach.

4. Rarewa beach, east coast of Northland: Rarawa Beach is located near the small town of Ngataki on the Far North's Pacific Coast. I first discovered Rarawa when a teenager. I would've been about 17 and every time I go up north I visit Rarawa. It's just nice. The water is really clear and clean. It reminds me of Australian beaches, except it's got New Zealand seafood! Rarawa has clear, see-through blue water, great fishing, good seafood, and not too many people around.

5. Otama Beach, Whitianga: I have fond memories of surfing Otama, thanks in part to freak waves that hit the Coromandel beach.
One of these massive storms came through. It's never broken the same since, and it's been about ten years. That storm hasn't come back since. I'd call it a sleeping giant. There's a few surfers round the Coromandel who know about it, but it's a pretty tough wave to surf. It breaks really fast and it breaks into shallow water. When you fall of there, most times you'll end up on the beach.

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