Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

World famous in New Zealand

Online searches for local beaches paint a picture of this summer's hot spots.
New Zealand's most-loved summer hot spots have been revealed as Hot Water Beach and Akaroa after the two topped Google's most-searched lists. Photo / Alex Robertson
New Zealand's most-loved summer hot spots have been revealed as Hot Water Beach and Akaroa after the two topped Google's most-searched lists. Photo / Alex Robertson

New Zealand's most-loved summer hot spots have been revealed as Hot Water Beach and Akaroa after the two topped Google's most-searched lists.

Coromandel's Hot Water Beach was the most-searched Kiwi beach this summer. The Little River Campground on Canterbury's Banks Peninsula topped the list for New Zealand's most-searched-out camping ground.

Nigel Carpenter, who owns the Ocean View Cottage at Hot Water Beach, wasn't surprised to see his local spot make the list of most-sought-out beaches.

"It's a wonderful place, totally unique. There's no other place like it in the world," he said.

In his 15 years living in the area with his wife, Dianne, he had noticed it had grown in popularity annually.

Carpenter said the beach, with its unique dig-your-own hot pool experience, was a great place to meet others from all over the world.

"When you go down to the hot pools it's like the United Nations," he said. "You have to experience it."

Carpenter recommended visitors stayed at least two days to make the most of the surrounding area.

"You can visit Cathedral Cove, as well as Hot Water Beach, they are close together - it's a complete package."

As an alternative to the usual day-trip to Hot Water Beach he recommended heading down at night.

"It's quite special. You can see people with candles and flashlights."

Five Auckland beaches had made the top 10: Piha, Muriwai, Te Henga/Bethells, Maraetai and Takapuna.

Campgrounds within the Auckland region that were the most popular included Wenderholm, Orewa and Tawharanui.

Akaroa Harbour. Photo / Supplied
Akaroa Harbour. Photo / Supplied

Auckland Council general manager of Parks, Sport and Recreation Mace Ward was pleased to see the city's beaches and recreational parks feature so highly.

"People are exploring, that's fantastic," he said.

"It's really pleasing we are providing a great destination for locals and visitors." Ward said the variety of beaches in Auckland offered a range of options for the whole family, including the stretches of golden sand out east and the wilder beaches to the west.

He said the campgrounds also provided a "back-to-basics Kiwi camping experience" within reach of the city.

Marcus Puentener, owner of Akaroa's Little River Campground, said this summer had been one of his busiest, but he was still surprised to see his site top the campground list.

He attributed the ground's natural surrounds, located "off the beaten track", as a major drawcard.

"We are a traditional Kiwi campground that offers a back-to-basics camping experience," he said. "We are unique and boutique."

- Herald on Sunday

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