Waikanae is a laid back beach town with a combination of retired population and young families that brings a unique blend that is relaxing and vibrant.
The lovely long beach and pristine Waikanae River offer a range of outdoor activities. The local fly fishing club offers lessons for first timers.
This is a proud gardening community which regularly features in national magazines. Head inland to Reikorangi Valley where you will find the local pottery making and cafe. This hidden gem is where it stops.
There's something magical about walking along rivers. Two bridges allow a decent loop walk which you can break to let the kids play in the playground at Otaihanga Domain or enjoy a safe swim in the river. Where the River meets the sea you may meet Waikanae's Birdman, Mik Peryer, guiding visitors to spot the rich birdlife on the protected estuary.
Take the kids to Nga Manu Wildlife Sanctuary to feed the fat eels and meet Diana the Tuatara.
How about a walk along the beach as the tide is just coming in, watch the shellfish, squirting water into the setting sunlight as they greet the waves.
In summer take a picnic and book a BBQ at the outdoor swimming pool complex where kids can swim for hours and enjoy the slide.
Right in the middle of town you can shop, do your errands, visit the districts gallery and enjoy a selection of restaurants and follow your nose to the bakeries with the fresh hot bread.