The moment you reach the crest of the hill and the bay opens up beneath you is great. When there are perfect three to four foot lines rolling in and only a handful of people in the water the view is breathtaking.
Just north of Whangarei, Sandy Bay is one of countless, beautiful, sub-tropical beaches that line the East Coast of the North Island from the Bay of Islands and past Hawke’s Bay. The surf is no better or worse at Sandy Bay then any one of a hundred of these other beaches either but what makes Sandy Bay so special are the fun times I have had there. For years it has been a stalwart surviving location for one of the National Longboard competitions during the summer and, for me, was the highlight of the tour and the one weekend of surfing I could always look forward to.
Truthfully I probably only surfed it really pumping a couple of times – both times it had blown just about flat by the finals! – but that wasn’t what made it special either. No, it was the great weekend’s camping on the tussocky banks of the estuary; it was eel-fishing with a long line and a can of dog food; it was scurfing behind a twin engine powerboat; it was sitting round the fire playing the guitar and singing… Badly! All of those things made Sandy Bay, the gateway to the Bay of Islands, very special.
But like I said there are hundreds of beaches just like it up and down the East Coast of the North Island so why not explore and find one that makes you feel happy every time you go back! Stay overnight, kick back and enjoy yourself. Book your accommodation now
Editorial by Jooles Clements