Caroline Bay, Timaru

Caroline Bay is a popular park and beach in Timaru.

After the construction of Timaru’s harbour the currents created a sandy beach. It is Timaru’s only sandy beach – in fact it is the only sandy beach between Oamaru and Banks Peninsula.

In 1902 the Borough Council leased the foreshore from the Harbour Board and decided to turn the bay into a European-style resort.

A summer carnival has been held at Caroline Bay since 1911.

As well as the summer carnival rides and sideshow games Caroline Bay has many facilities including a children’s playground, free barbeques, an outdoor gym equipment circuit, beach volleyball courts, mini golf, tennis courts, skate park and a small train offering rides. 

Beach volleyball courts

The Trevor Griffiths Rose Gardens are also located within the park. You can read more about the rose gardens in my blog post here.

The Piazza crosses the railway line connecting the Timaru CBD with Caroline Bay. Pedestrian access is via a grand staircase or lift.

Caroline Bay is also home to Timaru’s Little Blue Penguins. The penguins nestle up in the rocks next to Marina Parade. The footpath on Marina Parade is the best place to view them after sunset.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small Californian beach village on the Monterey Peninsula.


Carmel-by-the-Sea is located on the Pacific coast, about 530 kilometres (330 miles) north of Los Angeles and 190 kilometres (120 miles) south of San Francisco.

It is an easy village to explore by foot. Carmel’s streets are lined with designer shops, art galleries and gourmet eateries.

Carmel Beach is located at the end of Ocean Avenue for those wishing to dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean.





Baker Beach, San Francisco

Baker Beach is a public beach on peninsula of San Francisco.


It is a popular beach with its views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Swimming is not recommended at the beach because of the rough surf conditions and rips.

The beach is also a photo stop for those walking the cliffside Coastal Trail.

The northern section of Baker Beach nearest the bridge is considered a clothing optional beach.





Island hopping, Boracay

Island hopping is a popular activity for most first time visitors to Boracay, Philippines.


Visitors can either hire a boat with a skipper or join an island hopping tour. We hired a private boat from the White Beach and explored a few of the small neighbouring beaches.

If you join an island hopping tour there will usually be up to 20 people on the boat. The tour will usually involve lunch and provide snorkelling gear. Most island hopping tours will involve opportunities to swim and go snorkelling.

Possible stops could include Crystal Cove, Crocodile Island, Magic Island, Puka Beach, and Ilig-Iligan Beach.






Willy’s Rock, Boracay

Willy’s Rock is a volcanic rock formation just off the shore the shore of White Beach near Station One at Boracay, Philippines.


On the side of the rock facing the beach there are man made steps leading up to a statue of the Virgin Mary. Care should be taken when climbing the steps as they will be wet.

The rock also provides a nice viewing looking back to the beach. Best views and photographs are probably at sunset.






White Beach, Boracay

White Beach, is located on the island of Boracay, Philippines.


White Beach is approximately 4 kilometres long and is divided into three parts – Station 1, Station 2, Station 3.

The station names come from when boats use to bring tourists directly to the beach – they were boat stations.

The beach is popular for its white powdery sand (hence the name) and its crystal clear sea water.

There are many water activities to partake in including but not limited to banana boating, glass bottom cruising, helmet diving, island hopping, jet skiing, kite surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and wind surfing.

For those not interested in the water there are many hotels, bars, day spas, and shops located close to the beach.








Fitzroy Beach New Plymouth

Fitzroy Beach is a popular swimming and surf beach in New Plymouth.


The beach is popular with both locals and visitors. It is part of the 12.7 km New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, that runs from Pioneer Park at Port Taranaki to Bell Block Beach.

The Fitzroy Surf Lifesaving Club patrol the beach during weekends in the summer months and during the week during the summer school holiday period.

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park, which offers deluxe cabins, powered sites, and unpowered tent sites is located right by the beach.

Fitzroy Beach is located 3 km north of New Plymouth. Access is at the end of Beach Road, Fitzroy, New Plymouth.







Rose Gardens, Takapuna

Yesterday afternoon I went to Takapuna Beach. After a quick visit to Shore City mall I made my way through the rose gardens and walked along past the Hurstmere Road shops and down to the beach.


Takapuna Beach Cafe & Store, The Promenade

Once on the beach I walked down to the rocks at the end of beach and then walked back to the boat ramp and stopped for a Peanut butter and choc ice cream at Takapuna Beach Cafe & Store.

I then walked back up to Hurstmere Road and ordered fish n chips from High Tide Seafood, which is opposite the Hospice Shop at the end of Parkway Arcade (56 – 60 Hurstmere Road).


Takapuna Beach, Rangitoto Island in the distance

I sat on the grass eating my fish n chips overlooking the beach as beachgoers swam, sunbathed, kicked a soccer ball around, played volleyball, and parents watched young triathletes prepare for a triathlon.

The Takapuna Beach .kiwi Tri Series was being held on Friday. I watched the 3:9:3 youth event, where they swim 300 metres, bike 3km, and run 3km.

The adult category followed the youth triathlon but rather than stay and watch I walked to Killarney Park, which surrounds one side of Lake Pupuke, a fresh water lake in a volcanic crater. It is amazing that in this country you can walk from a beach to a lake in less than 15 minutes.


Lake Pupuke, Killarney Park

Couples were picnicking in grassy slopes of Killarney Park, while screaming teenagers dived and ‘bombed’ into the lake from the jetty. Some say if you take a bird’s eye view of the lake it resembles a heart – I heart Takapuna!


The PumpHouse Theatre, Killarney Park

In 1884, a pump house was built on the shores of the lake to supply the local area with fresh water. This pump house was replaced in 1906 and was used a water supply source until 1944. The iconic pump house building, which still stands today, became a protected heritage building in 1983 and is now a theatre venue. Unfortunately when I visited construction was being undertaken so the building was surrounding by scaffolding.

Next to the PumpHouse Theatre is a café which is open from 10am to 4pm. So it was closed when I visited.

At the PumpHouse I watched Shoreside Theatre’s summer Shakespeare in the Park production of Othello. It’s interesting to note that this year marks the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth so what better time to enjoy Shakespeare’s rich language.

The play was held in the outdoor amphitheatre under the stars. Shoreside Theatre provide cushions for the wooden bench seats, which are much needed as the play runs for just under three and half hours.