We were heading back South today towards Aukland so we had time to see a few places we didn't see on the way north when the weather was so bad. The Tutukaka coast has some of the best beaches in New Zealand, so the guide says. I don't know how they judge them but it sounds like a nice job.
Being Sunday and sunny, the beaches were actually quite busy by New Zealand standards, one of the beaches was full of surfers but there wasn't a lot happening due to lack of surf.
We diverted off our route to see some caves. Once off the main road you never know what you might find with New Zealand roads. This road to the caves got narrow and windier until it became a gravel track and then you wonder if you really want to bother but after a few miles we got to the large caves and they weren't flooded, so with torches we went inside to see stalactites and stalagmites and glow worms. We were surprised to find people living down these remote roads. Next to the caves was a huge gated estate which looked out of place, we were imagining that it was owned by someone out of a James Bond movie and they were using the caves beneath the house for illicit purposes.
We found a lovely campsite by Waipu Cove which could be another contender for a best beach. The site has a small pulley boat across a river which you use to get to the beach. It is really cute. This place is really quiet and the beach is really deserted but it is so large that you can't see if there is anyone on the beach at the far end. We judge our campsites every night this one must be a top contender, the only minus point is that it is quite shady so we lost the sun quite early and we had to go and sit in the sand dunes to enjoy the evening sun, hardly a hardship!