Helena & Teal Bay

Going to the beach on a rainy winter's day might not sound like the best thing to do. I did it anyway and it was definitely worth it! Pia suggested I went to Helena Bay and Teal Bay which is a little more than half an hour away from our place.

To get there you just hop back on State Highway One and in Whakarapa turn onto Russell Road. That takes you on a scenic drive to the East Coast of the North Island all the way up to historic Russell. That is supposed to be THE oldest settlement in New Zealand (apart from the Maori of course). Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to go all the way up there.

My first stop was Helena Bay. It's quite amazing that most of the time the speed limit on the road is 100 kilometres per hour. In fact the roads are so narrow and winding that most of the time I couldn't go any faster than 50. But then of course I'm just getting used to driving on the left - which by the way isn't so hard to do. It's actually harder to figure out where the traffic might come from first when you get to an intersection.

Anyway... the drive up there is quite neat. It seems the hills are never ending and you wonder when you might actually make it to the coast. And then all the sudden it's there. The sea...

Helena Bay (above) and Teal Bay (below) are small beaches on the East Coast, easy to access, beautiful sand and in the summer time a very popular spot to go swimming. Of course in the winter time it's all deserted and lacks a lot of its natural charme. But it was nice to have the beach all to myself just walking around. Took some shells home for the kids. They loved it :-)

I actually liked Teal Bay a lot better and am soooo looking forward to going there in the summer. It's a really cool beach with a few rocks on one side that you can climb on. Put a few pictures on Facebook again if you want to have a look.

Both beaches can be easily accessed by car, there are free parking spots available. Since it's a rural area with a few houses not far from the beaches there probably won't be a lot of tourists around so it should be nive and quiet even in the summer.

On the way back I stopped at the Gallery & Café on Helena Bay Hill. Unfortunately the café which is run by a German couple was closed because they are on a short holiday. But the gallery was open and I was sooo close to buying something. They have awesome paintings in there, some sculptures by Kiwi artists and nice jewelery. I especially liked the canvas drawings by the Tantrum Gallery. Check it out, they have cool stuff!


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