The Magic of Opononi

Our adventures with the Schmitt Family took us north this past weekend to the quaint village of Opononi. 

Highlights of this remote Northland village include Opo, the local takeaway shack, the wise billy goat that ponders life all day by the track to the beach, and the majestic sand dunes that lie next to the clear, tourquoise waters. 

Even greater than these, though, was our excursion to go sandboarding on the sand dunes. 

We ventured across the bay via a small ferry boat, which dropped us off next to the golden dunes along with an armful of body boards.

Luke was pretty pumped to try out this sandboarding thing, and had several awesome slides, along with an awesome wipeout or two.  What a brave nephew we have.

As the dunes were a tad on the toasty side, Naomi preferred it down near the water’s edge, where the sand was much cooler.  

Some sting rays swam right by, just meters from the shore.  So smooth and majestic, but very dangerous.

When Wyatt wasn’t eating sand, he enjoyed chillin out in our sun tent with his Uncle Breno.  Here in this hot NZ sun, it is very important to seek shade when possible.

For someone who is not really into “extreme” activities of sorts, I did think sandboarding was pretty awesome.  Even epic, if you may.  It may have had something to do with the views.



The bach we rented accomodated us quite well, and the extra space it offered our party of 7 felt luxurious.  

We enjoyed many quiet hours on the deck late into the evenings, soaking in the lingering warmth of the day and listening to the waves flowing into shore, only a short distance away. 

The landscape of Opononi was entirely intriguing and majestic.  The white sand dunes, paired next to the vibrant, tourquoise waters, and lush, surrounding greenery was a combination unlike anything seen before.

People keep telling us that we really need to get down to the South Island- that it is really much more enchanting than the North Island.  While I’m sure we will make it down there, I have to say that the North Island has already lodged its way into my heart. 

Nicole, Craig, and the kids spent this past week exploring the beaches and Mediterranean flavour of Waihiki Island, and will return to us tomorrow to share a couple more weeks of NZ fun.

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6 thoughts on “The Magic of Opononi

  1. Looks beautiful, and so much fun.

    The New Brunswick snow is a sharp contrast to the NZ sun. I could handle some of the heat right now.

    Love to you all!
    Mom (Morai)

  2. Wow! I am “enchanted” just by looking the pictures. What an amazing place! It seems like something out a a cool dream…sliding down sand dunes! What a cool adventure, you guys. Look forward to more updates.

  3. These are great pictures! Thanks for the update.I sure miss that beautiful place and you two.I have a yard full of ice and more snow than you can imagine!
    Have fun! Love,Nanny.

  4. How crazy to think that while kids are tobogganing here, there are other kids half way around the world sandboarding. Different climate, same human instinct for that rush of joy that comes with using nature and gravity to one’s advantage!

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