My town: Patons Rock

Otago Access Radio community liaison Jeff Harford reckons Patons Rock, Golden Bay, is hard to...
Otago Access Radio community liaison Jeff Harford reckons Patons Rock, Golden Bay, is hard to beat as a place to relax and unwind. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
As we are making great strides to see more of our own backyards in the wake of lockdown, we asked people from around the South to tell us about their favourite places. After all, there is nothing like getting travel advice from a local.

Otago Access Radio community liaison Jeff Harford, of Dunedin, reveals the delights of Patons Rock, in Golden Bay.

What I love most about Patons Rock is that the 2.5km stretch of fine, firm sand at the beach can be traversed at all hours, unlike its more popular neighbour Pohara Beach, which disappears at high tide. This unfettered access for walking and swimming reduces any tendency towards clock-watching, accelerating the key process of unwinding.

What people don’t know about Patons Rock ...

Nearby Puramahoi Fields Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operates a roadside stall. Farmers sell a portion of their harvest as shares to CSA members in the local community.

A great area to stay ...

Patons Rock Beach Villas offer four two-bedroom serviced holiday units within a short walk of the ocean, or treat yourself to a pricier beachfront holiday home if you can.

Blue sky, calm sea, and a local dinghy create a picturesque scene at Patons Rock, Golden Bay....
Blue sky, calm sea, and a local dinghy create a picturesque scene at Patons Rock, Golden Bay. PHOTO: JEFF HARFORD
The best way to start the day is ...

A pre-breakfast dip in what by Southern standards are tepid waters is the gold-standard option, but you’re doing pretty well to throw on a kimono, brew a stovetop coffee and stand on the deck to contemplate the day ahead.

For a great night out (or in) ...

The Mussel Inn, Onekaka, is a 10-minute drive away. Regular quiz nights and poetry events mix with ticketed gigs by touring acts attracted to the venue by reports of legendary evenings of revelry.

Favourite places to eat and what you always order ...

See above. A large serve of fresh steamed mussels and garlic bread, with a pint.

Top place to walk, run, cycle, tramp, exercise, practise yoga ...

Did I mention the beach?

Top experience not to miss ...

The stunning Pupu Hydro Walk retraces an old gold-mining water race, passing through forest of young beech and rimu to mature podocarps.

Experience you’d always wanted to give a go but never got around to ...

We saw a horse (with rider) swimming in the ocean. That looked like fun.

Best-kept secret ...

Just north of Parapara Inlet is Milnthorpe Park, an interesting experiment in forest regeneration.

Here, a variety of non-native trees has been planted on poor soils.

The idea is to restore the area’s natural forest cover faster than would be possible using only native species.

Many walking tracks allow you to explore the forest, estuary and beach.

 

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