Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Warning - Here there be monster waves

Sometimes it's better to stay out of the water.
Sometimes it's better to stay out of the water.

At what point should we butt into someone else's holiday and tell them to stay out of the surf?

On a recent visit to Hot Water Beach, I saw young travellers (many with a drink or two in them) take a night time plunge from the hot springs into the cold surf.

They were all fine. After a giggle, a splash and a squeal, they raced back to the warmth of the springs. And for all I know they were holidaying lifeguards.

But it got me thinking about the lack of signage at some of our more remote beaches. With no regular patrol, the only indication that this beach could be dangerous (and it is very dangerous) was a lonely post with a couple of lifesaving belts hanging off them.

What signage there is often seems to be a tad monolingual. Most of my fellow hot-springs soakers were Spanish speakers.

Anyway, perhaps I should have warned them.

"New Zealand's beautiful," I imagined them reporting to their friends.

"But there was this weird guy at the beach who told us not to swim."

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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