Extinct Volcano / White Sand Beach
NZ Gps: 34° 51' 28.584" S 173° 19' 54.84" E
When was the last time that you climbed a volcano sprouting from a white sand beach? (oh yeah, maybe Mauao, entry E1.) OK then, when was the last time you gazed from the top of a volcano that bisected a 12km stretch of sugar-white sand, not another soul in sight? Never heard of Puheke? Neither have many others. A small (130m) volcanic hill, vast white sands, azure waters…all protected from bach-ism by drifting dunes and boggy dune lakes…thank jah! The only public access to Puheke Hill is via a washboardy 4.5km road from Rangiputa. A walk to the top takes 20 minutes. From the upper carpark a skinny path leads down to 7 secluded snow-white (dwarf) coves.
If you really want to see NOBODY all day on a gloriously unspoiled shoreline, this is your place. Heading east from Puheke there’s no access to the beach for 5-6km—just a solitude of white dunes and beachcombing. A walk to the Maitai access point takes about 80 minutes. The small coves with their caves are wonderful. Puheke is the diamond in Doubtless Bay’s not-so-rough.