Category Archives: Local Haunts

Local Haunts: Waikanae Beach

I’ve just returned from a beautiful walk along Waikanae Beach and had to share this shot of the beach. It was a deliciously mild evening that was further enhanced by the sunset and a cookies and cream ice-cream. I heart summer in NZ!

Waikanae Beach

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Local Haunts: Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Track

As you know I am currently based in Gisborne… Back at the family home with my Mum, brother (Ben) and his lovely fiance (Jo). Said brother and his fiance are very active outdoorsy types, I’m talking surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, diving, running, walking, snow boarding, skateboarding… you know the drill. Me, well I take a bit of convincing, especially when it comes to hiking.

On Sunday we decided to make the 40 minute drive down to beautiful Mahia for a picnic and a swim at Mahanga Beach. About 10 minutes before our ETD, Ben informs me that he thought it might be nice to do a little 2 hour walk on the Mahia Peninsula. For once I was quite excited to be part of an adventurous day trip and happily added practical socks and walking shoes to my bag.

After a 7km drive (approx. and on a gravel road) from the Mahia township, we approached the entry to the walk. The track is a simple loop so after some consultation we opted to go left, an enjoyable downhill start to the walk which had me gaining confidence by the minute! The forest was immediately dense and lush and made me appreciate just how lucky we are to live in Aotearoa.

With a couple of heroic river (creek) crossings ticked off the list, it became clear that the gentle downhill leg had ended and the uphill sweat-inducing leg was imminent. The uphill leg was not quite as sheltered as the first part and it was unexpectedly steep, but not prohibitively so… I’d advise anyone finding it taxing to take it super slowly and invest in well deserved power breaks.

In total the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Track probably took about 80 minutes to complete. It’s a great day trip activity for people of varying fitness levels and ages and if you get as sweaty and hot as we did, there are tonnes of stunning beaches waiting to cool you down. So satisfying! Next trip we’ll head to the caves just outside of Morere before stopping in at the hot pools on our way home.

Some snaps I took during our day trip.

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Local Haunts: Renie’s Petite Cafe

My brother and I ventured into town this afternoon to run some errands and boy was it hot. On a mission to find a soothing non-alcoholic beverage to cool (and calm) us down I remembered the cute wee local haunt, Renie’s Petite Cafe, on Peel St. Given it was 2:50pm I thought we might be out of luck, but luckily for us they were still open for business.

Renie’s has a reputation for lush fresh smoothies and personable service so I wasn’t surprised when we were greeted so warmly by the lovely staff. A swift order of calorific chocolate and mocha frappes and a piece of caramel slice (completely unnecessary, but it looked lonely all by itself in the cabinet) was placed and we retreated to one of the tables out on the footpath.

What soon arrived were generous 1 litre servings of icy rich coffee/chocolate emulsions. My frappe was smooth, chocolatey and indulgently velvety; I didn’t try the mocha version but it was quickly consumed and met with a complimentary smile of a satisfied Ben.

There is no doubt that I will be back to Renie’s, the coffee is really good, the slices to die for (the caramel slice had a well proportioned base to caramel ratio) and the chicken pie is in a league of its own. Pop down one day and let me know what you think!

Renie’s Petite Cafe, 48 Peel St, Gisborne, (06) 868 8885

Renie's Chocolate Frappe

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