Waipu is 2 hours N.E. from Auckland in New Zealand. Strangely enough it is next to Uretiti,and the locals find these to be perfectly normal names, and frown upon any sniggering and tittering.
Waipu was settled by dour pious Scottish and still retains a strong Scottish identity. The local pizza joint is called McCleods and has tartan pizza boxes! They also have a fabulous Wearable Art event called ART N TARTAN, not bad for a small town of 2,000. Apparently it was settled by these ‘ party boys’, as the local Maoris had been killed by their neighbours during a tribal war, and so there was no opposition. The First Fleeters, as they call themselves arrived in a series of boats via Adelaide from Nova Scotia.
It is a very popular holiday destination for Aucklanders, who obviously enjoy camping in the rain. It is lush and verdant countryside, and the reason it is so green is because it doesn’t stop raining, and is very humid- almost tropical.
The small town of Waipu is tripled during Summer as are most holiday beaches the world over. However the charm of this location is its lush countryside, its laid back Kiwi style and arty, alternative vibe. So different to Batemans Bay! The realestate is horrendous which some believe keeps the riff-raff out.
There are NO rubbish bins, just signs asking people to take everything away with them, and amazingly enough everyone does!
The neigbouring towns of Mangawhai and Whangarei introduced me to the phonics of NZ- as the WH are pronounced as F. The Mangawhai weekly markets are full of interesting art and craft and fresh produce, and has a very alternative population of artists. Whangarei is a bigger town with a large marina lined with cafes and galleries. Some of the Maori names are difficult to pronounce, Bro. Especially Whakapapa!
We were there for Mr French’s 60 th birthday which was celebrated ‘French’ style. An enjoyable evening in their new house on a small farm. Interestingly they do not go for fly wire on the windows,in NZ, the flies are not as bad as in OZ but the mossies are! Ouch.
We have now moved from Waipu to Queenstown, via Auckland.