The perfect hideaway - a tropical island paradise just off the coast. This means freedom to explore, sandy beaches for swimming, paddling and building sandcastles, dreaming of another kind of life.
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  • Tairua

So easy to get there, yet the feeling of isolation is immediate. Palm trees, white sand, green hills and clear blue waters, all a 15-minute boat ride from Tairua and Pauanui. Put ashore on the public reserve at the southern end of Home Bay on the western side of the island, a large area of beach and sand dune, for a day out marooned in paradise.

Or book your escape at Slipper Island Resort, a castaway's dream. Glamp, camp or stay in the chalets to wake to the sound of the sea and the freedom to explore.

Known to Māori as Whakahau, the island is rich in history, with eight pa, various middens and terraces still visible. For this reason the island is considered wahi tapu, or sacred and precious, to Ngāti Maru and Ngāti Hei.

It is where one of the oldest human artefacts ever uncovered in New Zealand was discovered - a tropical pearl shell lure brought over by eastern Polynesian voyagers around AD1300. There have also been finds of moa bone blanks used by early Polynesian settlers for making fish hooks, weapons and tools.

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