This was the most spectacular beach we visited in New Zealand. On the West Coast, opposite Auckland, it is billed as singular in having a lookout up above. Quite a spectacular lookout.
There were surfers determinedly surfing even after the red-and-yellow flags went up. One drifted off into a gap, panicking me, until I read in our Frenzy guide that there was a calm beach down that way. I can't argue that it isn't a great surfing beach. The wind is very strong here, blowing flecks of foam everywhere.
There's a rock on the beach shaped like a lion lying down; it's in the lookout photo. A track runs up that rock, and there's a Maori monolith about halfway along the track. We had NO interest in the climb, but several people were making their way up the lion.
Victor took some film of the waves crashing on the shore. I promise that, this week, I'll post links to that film, to one of the bubbling mud in Waiotapu, and to one of seals frolicking on the shore north of Kaikoura, South Island.