The Last Untouched Te Arai

After a short nap, and meeting the rest of the family, it was decided that we were popping off to Te Arai late morning – the swells were going to be perfect.

Te Arai is on the east coast about an hour north of Auckland and, as the whole area, is known for its surfing.

Looking out at the swell
Looking out at the swell

We walked up a small white sand dune where Jess’s father is staring out onto the water. “I’ve been coming here for 40 years,” he said.

“Has anything changed?”

“Not really, just more people.”

“Well, it’s good they haven’t developed it at all.” I comment.

But there’s plans to, apparently. Te Arai is the last untouched ocean beach area in the region – it is home to endangered birds, threatened geckos, and a variety of fauna and flora – but there are currently plans in place to scrap the current zoning plans for development of a golf course, housing, restaurants.  It is largely protested, so for now, Kiwis can enjoy the surfing, kayaking, and beachcombing they so love the beach for.

An oyster catcher - just one of the species found at Te Arai
An oyster catcher – just one of the species found at Te Arai

But the swell is crashing too hard, with nowhere to turn out. This will not be the beach. We head just down the road to Forestry. There’s even less people here; clumps of about 4 or 5 hang out prepping their boards, about fifteen dot the waves. There’s more roll out here, and after another five minutes of contemplation, we decide to stay.

Waiting for the perfect wave
Waiting for the perfect wave