Juliette Sivertsen unwinds from the Big Smoke at a beachside escape in the Coromandel: Two Bare Feet, Bowentown, Waihī Beach
Location: A five-minute drive from Waihī Beach, and 18 minutes' drive to the Waihī township itself.
Style: A coastal rustic escape with thoughtful, personalised touches.
Perfect for: A summertime private beachside escape for two.
First impressions: I instantly knew I wanted to spend a summer break here. The property is a large, two-storey home, available on Booking.com, with hosts Julie and Campbell living upstairs and the bottom level rented out to guests. The downstairs apartment is separate from upstairs with private entry, and apart from dropping off breakfast in the morning, the hosts leave the guests to themselves. Julie came down straight away to greet us on arrival and was cheerful, chatty and full of life. She was eager to give us a tour and local recommendations of where to eat and what to do.
On the kitchen wall, there was a chalkboard message welcoming me personally, and a selection of Hershey's chocolate kisses in the bedroom. The pale timber interior, combined with shells and driftwood arrangements, create a serene atmosphere. A large leather couch adds a stately feel to the living room. The garden has plenty of outdoor furniture to relax in the sun, all of it just metres away from the beach.
Rooms: The apartment has two bedrooms but can be split into different configurations. Guests can rent the entire space, just the bedroom with the ensuite, or the apartment with one bedroom closed off. I had exclusive use of the entire apartment. Each bedroom has a canopy king bed which makes you feel a bit like royalty, and rustic driftwood headboards. Both bedrooms are spacious and airy with large windows with views of the garden. The living area had a dining table and chairs on one side, and the couch suite and flatscreen TV on the other, and a mantelpiece decorated with coastal-themed ornaments.
Bathroom: The property has two bathrooms, the main one and a smaller ensuite off one of the bedrooms. Towels are in white and duck egg blue, and white dressing robes are provided. The main bathroom has a large rain shower and separate bath. Toiletries include Ecostore shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
Food and drink: I had exclusive use of the apartment including the kitchenette which had all the main utensils, cutlery, fridge and a microwave if I needed to prepare any basic meals. Breakfast is available at $12 a day per person which is an impressive spread delivered by Julie in the morning, including fresh juice, milk, muesli, fruit, yoghurt, bread and freshly toasted croissants which filled the apartment with a delicious aroma to help get me out of bed.
Facilities: There is free Wi-Fi in the apartment and parking available right outside.
In the neighbourhood: Nine kilometres of pure beach for walking, surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking. There's a lovely restaurant on the beachfront at Waihī Beach called Flat White, which is just a five-minute drive away, as well as the Waihī Beach shops.
Contact: Booking.com or twobarefeetwaihibeach.com
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