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With the temperaturesbeing hotter than ever, everyone is looking for a place to cool off. Here are some of the best, well known and not so known places, to take a dip close to Mahurangi West Wing B&B.

Te Muri Beach – Mahurangi West

This beautiful, well-kept secret is part of the Mahurangi West Park and can only be accessed on foot, unless you’re keen for a dip. It can be best summed up in the words of author Liz Light, who fell in love with Mahurangi West. “Te Muri is a paradise because it has no road access and all those people with picnic stuff and beach toys don’t come here. Also, the estuary can comfortably be crossed three hours either side of high tide, so planning is needed. It’s 400m down the hill to the estuary, which reduces to a shallow stream at low tide. We step-stone on to Te Muri and relish the wide, open freedom of a beach to ourselves. We swim and paddle in crystal shallows where shoals of little fish seem, at first, to be sun patterns in ripples.”

Warkworth Cement Works – Wilson Road South, Warkworth

Set against the awesome backdrop of the Wilson Cement Works ruins, this huge, freshwater swimming hole has been a popular spot for the locals for years and is the perfect spot to cool down on a hot day in Warkworth. If you are feeling brave, you can swim out and jump off the cliff on the opposite bank for a rush of adrenaline. The Wilson Cement Works ruins are now recognised as a heritage site.

Pakiri Beach – Pakiri River Road

If white sands and big surf are more your cup of tea, then Pakiri Beach is the one for you. With every kind of beach activity available, a beautiful regional park and plenty of places to stay, it’s the perfect local getaway. The beach is ideal for swimming and surfing, and you can even try your hand at beach fishing.

Anchor Bay – Takatu Road, Tawharanui Peninsula

Anchor Bay is an amazing white sandy beach near Tawharanui Regional Park and is a real slice of Kiwi paradise. The water in Anchor Bay is very clear and is great for swimming, snorkelling and diving. The relatively calm waves make for a relaxing dip. With plenty of rockpools, low tide offers the opportunity to explore marine life, and you may even find a private pool big enough to chill out in yourself.

Mathesons Bay – Mathesons Bay Road, Leigh

This pretty little beach is sheltered from the ocean by its protecting reef and island, so it a safe place to swim or paddle a kayak in most weather conditions. There is a swimming pontoon in the bay during the summer months. Matheson Bay is a popular spot for dive schools for their dive training. Sometimes orca come right into the bay and whales and dolphins can be spotted from the hill on the southwest side. There may also be a hidden waterfall and freshwater swimming spot if you’re in the mood for an adventure.

Nordic Beach – Leigh

Just to the right of the Leigh cemetery, you can follow the stairs down to big rock pools and massive rocks for jumping off. Locals call it ‘The Nordic’ after a ship that sank out from Leigh Harbour in 1962. A great place for swimmers and thrill-seekers alike.

Te Arai – Te Arai Point Road

Te Arai offers pristine white sandy beaches at the end of picturesque rural roads. It’s an area well known by surfers for consistent, safe conditions and it’s an utterly gorgeous spot for a day at the beach. Although a little bit of a drive north of us, this stunning beach is definitely worth the trip. You can swim out amongst the surf or stay in the sheltered old quarry swimming hole. The clear blue water and epic rock formations provide a great backdrop for the perfect Instagram shot.

Scotts Landing – Ridge Road, Mahurangi East

This sheltered little beach is the perfect place for the whole family, with nice calm water for the little ones to splash about in. The beach is lined with some impressively huge macrocarpa trees; great for resting under or clambering around in. Scotts is a beautiful spot for a family to spend the day with a picnic.