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New Zealand’s best beaches: hidden gems | Instant News


Whale’s Bay, Tutukaka. Photo / Melinda Legg

The results are in! Today, our finalists are announced: 13 stunning Kiwi beaches chosen by you and the Travel team. Click here to see the result, and read about our 10 most popular beaches, and our three favorite wild cards.

But every New Zealander knows that some of our best stretches of sand are the hard to reach, the lesser known and the hidden gems.

Here are some of our favorite entries from readers who favored Aotearoa’s calmer coastline.

Don’t miss your chance to be crowned New Zealand’s Best Beach 2021. Please visit nzherald.co.nz/bestbeach to vote for your favorite from our finalists.

Pukehina Beach, Bay of Plenty

Pukehina Beach is the “hidden gem” of the Eastern Bay of Plenty coast. Outside of peak season, this small town of 200 people is a tightly knit community of fishermen and women, retirees and tangata whenua connected to the great Arawa waka. Beautiful beaches and beaches remind us of the old days. Many homes have been passed down from generation to generation, converted with just a touch of paint, perhaps a new deck. The cousins ​​slept all night in a bed that also housed longboards, surfcasters and kayaks. Aunts can be seen gathering kaimoana in the estuary, nannas and pop their fur babies for walks along the beach and meeting the local uncle – Hippi Pippi. From stunning sunsets to ever-changing coastal landscapes and a micro-climate of its own, Pukehina Beach with its soft white sand and turquoise waters is a truly unique Aotearoa beach experience.

Amber Stevens

Pukehina, Bay of Plenty.  Photo / Amber Stevens
Pukehina, Bay of Plenty. Photo / Amber Stevens

New Chums Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Over the last 20+ years I’ve traveled with family and then friends, lots of picnics, lots of beach days, nights out, and some beach cricket games. The fact that you can’t drive out there weed out the crowd, and walking on it itself is spectacular! This is truly a magical part of NZ

Natalie Lions

New Friend, Coromandel.  Photo / Natalie Lions
New Friend, Coromandel. Photo / Natalie Lions

Whale Bay Beach, Tutukaka Beach, Northland

A 10-minute walk along the cliff-side gives you stunning views of the coves around Whale Bay. Once you go down the trail the beach itself has clear blue water (almost like the Maldives). Beautiful trees perfect for hammocks and small swings provide seclusion and shade, and small rock pools on either side for exploration. Among the famous beaches but with warmer water, it is a hidden gem. It is a must.

Melinda Legg

Whale's Bay, Tutukaka.  Photo / Melinda Legg
Whale’s Bay, Tutukaka. Photo / Melinda Legg

Kariaotahi Beach, South Auckland

I’ve been lifeguard for this beach for eight seasons now and been a part of junior surfing since I was 7 years old (now 21). From the experiences I have had from this beach during my time as part of this wonderful community and nature, I can safely say that it is by far the best beach in Auckland and the country.

Taylor Harvey

Karioitahi Beach, South Auckland.  Photo / Taylor Harvey
Karioitahi Beach, South Auckland. Photo / Taylor Harvey

Amodeo Bay, Coromandel

Our special slice of heaven. We first came here on our honeymoon nearly 16 years ago and have never stopped returning. It is rugged and far enough away to be quiet, so not overcrowded, and has the most amazing sunsets, and the best fishing spots are not far from the coast. This is truly a Kiwi experience. There is a river flowed by the ocean where there are many pet eels that you can feed and pat with your hands. It is surrounded by native bush and on quiet nights you can hear kiwis.

Karen Bates

Amodeo Bay, Coromandel.  Photo / Karen Bates
Amodeo Bay, Coromandel. Photo / Karen Bates

Taupō Bay, Far North

It’s special for its size, location, stunning views and chill feel. It epitomizes everything we look for on a classic Kiwi beach – unobtrusive, never overcrowded, part of a magical coastline, just a simple beach has it all. We love it.

Todd Male

Bethells / Te Henga Beach

I nominated for the best beach in west Auckland, Bethells Beach / Te Henga. It is one of the calmest, rugged beaches that are beautifully reflected on those sunny days. Always have awesome sunsets, places to swim / surf / fish, walk along cliffs, on the dunes, along the beach, special wildlife, and people from all different walks of life. You also have access to Lake Wainamu which is a short walk from the beach and is spectacular with its massive sand dunes reflecting off the lake. This cafe serves unbeatable post beach food.

Luke Campbell

Jackson Bay, West Coast

On a beautiful sunny day, you can enjoy a beautiful wild beach and feel like you are the only person in the world – sunbathing, looking for rare pebbles on the beach, at night building a driftwood fire. Just say it! On a day with wild weather, it’s like you’re in another world – foggy, rocky and desolate. One of the best spots on the NZ coastline so far.

Felicity Lynchard

Thorne Bay Beach, North Coast

Beautiful beach at Waitematā Harbor. Golden sand, shade of trees along the coast, rock pools with fresh water flowing between the rocks from Lake Pupuke. Overlooking Rangitoto and north to Whangaparāoa. Coupled with steep rises on the water’s edge for swimming near shore and avoiding rowing too far to reach deep water. Accessible only by walking around the waterfront or via footpaths from Minhaha Street – no car access so it feels more remote and secluded, yet you are less than 10 km to downtown Auckland.

Kim Leuila

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com


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GO NZ: Te Araroa changed my life walking across New Zealand | Instant News


Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters

My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.

Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.

The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South. Photo / Laura Waters

When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.

Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.

Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail.  Photo / Laura Waters
Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail. Photo / Laura Waters

Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.

A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line.  Photo / Laura Waters
A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line. Photo / Laura Waters

If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.

The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.

The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains. Photo / Laura Waters

Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.

I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.

Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.


The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1

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‘That could be us tomorrow’: Top epidemiologist warns of what the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney means for Aotearoa | Instant News

As Australian health officials struggle to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney, a top epidemiologist here warns “maybe it is us”.

Professor Michael Baker said New Zealand was arguably entering “our most dangerous stage” since the Auckland outbreak in August as the pandemic soared in the Northern Hemisphere.

Baker, of the University of Otago’s public health school, is now calling on refugees returning from countries where the virus is “out of control” to take additional steps and isolate under surveillance in a hotel and be tested before even stepping on a plane.

Professor Michael Baker wants stricter measures for refugees returning from where Covid-19 is located "out of control".  Photo / Provided
Professor Michael Baker wants stricter measures for refugees returning from where Covid-19 is “out of control”. Photo / Provided

The new strain of Covid-19, which is spreading rapidly across the UK, forcing a third of its population in isolation, is further evidence that the government needs to implement a “traffic light” system, he said.

“For New Zealand to go through the next few months until a vaccine is widely available, it must have other control measures in place in the source country to try to actually reduce the number of infected people arriving here, which is potentially our greatest vulnerability,” Baker said. , “especially now there appears to be the potential for a more contagious virus to become dominant.”

The Health Ministry yesterday reported six new cases since Friday in managed isolation facilities among people returning from South Africa, Australia, the United States and the Netherlands.

The ministry said it was also “closely monitoring” the outbreak in Sydney, where 30 new cases were reported overnight, forcing the cluster’s epicenter, the North Coast, into isolation and the wider Sydney area restricted.

Health officials are looking for the source of the outbreak on the north Sydney coast.  Photo / AP
Health officials are looking for the source of the outbreak on the north Sydney coast. Photo / AP

New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant said finding the source of the north shore outbreak may be “a challenge beyond us” despite extensive investigations.

Officials said they expected the numbers to increase.

The New Zealand government is taking a wait-and-see approach to the outbreak and what impact it will have on the proposed transtasy travel bubble.

A spokesman said the arrangements would not start until the first quarter of next year but that it would depend on not having significant changes in circumstances in the two countries.

“We are monitoring the situation closely, but it is too early to make a decision based on the current community case in New South Wales.”

Baker said arrivals from New South Wales need not be treated differently because a proportionate proportion of their cases are still “small” and Australia is committed to stopping the outbreak to continue elimination goals.

“The main thing is this should be a big warning for us is that we can be today or tomorrow. We need further caution here,” said Baker.

“It’s very easy, but when we are on vacation, the virus is not on vacation. The virus behaves as usual.”

As the pandemic spikes across the globe – especially in the northern hemisphere – with nearly 21.2 million active cases, Baker said this could be New Zealand’s most dangerous stage since the August Auckland outbreak.

Everyone who comes back infected poses a threat to us, he said.

“There is always the potential for error.”

Baker said he wanted the Government to adopt a traffic light approach to arrivals so that those arriving from the highest-risk countries had stricter quarantine measures.

Ideally, he would like those deemed high risk to be isolated for about three days in the hotel under surveillance and return negative tests before they even board their flight to New Zealand.

The new Covid-19 strain that forced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel Christmas for the more than 16 million Britons living in London and south-east England is likely to spread across Britain and Europe, he said.

While it doesn’t appear to be any more lethal or that vaccines and treatments aren’t affected by it, scientists believe it is more contagious.

Baker said this “shouldn’t be a big surprise” because it’s normal for the virus to mutate but might make it harder to contain.

“And that’s the problem.”

Baker said New Zealanders should remain vigilant during the summer and the most important things to do are:

• If you have cold or flu symptoms, cancel your plans to stay at home and get advice about getting tested

• wash your hands regularly

• download and use the Covid Tracer app religiously and activate the Bluetooth function

• Get in the habit of carrying a mask and be prepared to use it.

There should be no relaxation in our preventive measures.


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US Ranks Worst in Maternal Care, Deaths Compared To 10 Other Developed Countries | Instant News

In their brief report, researchers assessed maternal mortality, composition of the maternal care workforce, and access to postnatal care in 10 high-income countries and compared the findings with the United States. Data from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK were obtained from the 2020 health statistics compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. US data are drawn from the CDC Pregnancy Mortality Monitoring System.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), maternal death is defined as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days after termination of pregnancy, regardless of the duration and place of pregnancy, from any cause related to or exacerbated by pregnancy or its management but not from any cause. accidental or incidental. “

Overall pregnancy-related mortality in the United States occurs at an average rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births. The main causes of death included cardiovascular conditions, bleeding, and infections. However, in the Netherlands, Norway and New Zealand, that figure has fallen to 3 women or less per 100,000.

More than 50% of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States occur after child birth, or postpartum. Any death within the last 1 year of pregnancy due to pregnancy complications or death during pregnancy is classified as pregnancy-related death. Deaths occurring within 1 week postpartum (19% of all maternal deaths) were largely due to heavy bleeding, high blood pressure, and infection.

In terms of service providers, the United States and Canada “have the lowest supply of midwives and obstetricians-gynecologists (OB-GYN) overall – 12 and 15 providers per 1000 live births, respectively,” while all other countries have supplies that are between 2 and 2 6 times bigger.

Midwives differ from OB-GYN in that they help manage normal pregnancies, assist with childbirth, and provide care during the postpartum period. In contrast, the OB-GYN is a doctor trained to identify problems and intervene if abnormal conditions arise. The OB-GYN usually only provides care in a hospital-based setting.

The role of the midwife has been found to be comparable or preferable to doctor-led care in terms of maternal and infant outcomes and more efficient use of health care resources. WHO recommends midwives as an evidence-based approach to reducing maternal mortality.

According to the American College of Nurse Midwives, “The US maternity workforce is inverted relative to patient needs.” Although OB-GYN outnumbered midwives in the United States and Canada, in most other countries the converse is true.

“Midwives provide the majority of prenatal care and childbirth in the UK and the Netherlands – countries that are considered to have the strongest primary care systems in Europe. Dutch midwives also give birth at home, which represents 13% of all births, the highest rate among developed countries, ”the report states.

Midwifery services are not uniformly covered in private insurance programs in the United States, whereas midwifery and midwifery services are covered by universal health insurance in several other countries.

Under the Affordable Care Act (HERE), The Medicaid program is required to cover midwifery care, but “the supply of providers is often so low that beneficiaries are often unable to access these services.” State licensing laws, restrictive scope of practice laws, and regulations requiring physician supervision of midwives can all contribute to the low supply of midwives in the United States. Medicaid is also currently covering 43% of all deliveries in the United States but only extends coverage to a maximum of 60 days postpartum.

Additionally, in some states, appellate courts have ruled ending Medicaid funding to the Planned Parenthood clinic, which provides a number of health services for low-income women, incl pregnancy services like postnatal care.

Postnatal care, including home visits by midwives, also improved mental health and breastfeeding outcomes among new mothers and was associated with reduced health care costs. Some Medicaid recipients can receive this service in the United States, but all other countries included in the report warrant at least 1 visit in 1 week after birth.

Recent cross section analysis of nearly 600,000 commercially insured individuals found that the prevalence of suicidal ideation and self-harm (suicide) occurring in the year before or after birth increased substantially from 2006 to 2017.1

In 2006, the prevalence of suicide was estimated at 0.2% per 100 individuals and increased to 0.6% per 100 individuals in 2017, while the diagnosis of suicide with comorbid depression or anxiety increased from 1.2% in 2006 to 2. 6% in 2017 (per 100 individuals for both.). During the study period, younger, non-Hispanic blacks and lower-income individuals experienced a greater increase in suicide.

“Policymakers, health planners and physicians must ensure access to universal suicide screening and appropriate treatment for pregnant and postpartum individuals and seek health systems and policy avenues to mitigate this growing public health crisis, especially for high-risk groups,” the analysis writer wrote.

In the United States, non-Hispanic black women are more than 3 times more likely to experience maternal death than white women. Non-Hispanic black women were also significantly more likely to experience severe incidence of maternal morbidity at the time of delivery.

Importantly, these figures reflect the official United States accounting for maternal morbidity and are not taken into account undocumented pregnant women, many of whom delayed prenatal care and home delivery in response to recent immigration enforcement policies.

In terms of paid maternity leave, a Commonwealth Fund report finds that the United States is the only high-income country that does not guarantee paid leave to mothers after childbirth. All 10 other states guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid leave from work while some provide more than one year of maternity leave.

Despite these bleak trends, some progress has been made to increase maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States. ACA attestation helps women gain access to maternity care that requires coverage for free preventive services, broadens Medicaid eligibility, offers premium subsidies for low-income women, and provides protection for young women.

But the authors note that more changes need to be put in place to reverse this disproportionate impact trend woman of color. Solutions include strengthening postpartum care, ensuring paid maternity leave, and working to close the racial disparity gap in this population.

“Addressing systemic racism so that Blacks and Indigenous people are not at risk while they are pregnant is critical to reducing maternal mortality in the US, while offering paid maternity leave to all those who give birth will contribute to their health and the health of their babies, and strengthen the financial security of families. , ”Wrote Laurie Zephyrin, MD, and Roosa Tikkanen of The Commonwealth Fund at STAT News.

“The US clearly wants to invest in health care, but is not investing enough in the people who give birth… When it comes to maternal health care, it’s time we started investing wisely in ensuring that no one dies a preventable death while carrying life to the world. “


1. LK Advice, Dalton VK, Kolenic GE, et al. Trend of suicide 1 year before and after birth among individuals with commercial insurance in the United States, 2006-2017. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online 18 November 2020.doi: 10.1001 / jamapsychiatry.2020.3550


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Emma Wiggle about the survivor lockdown, wrote the song for Wiggles and his deputy in New Zealand | Instant News

Wigglemania has got to grips with New Zealand. Since announcing a nationwide tour here last week, brightly dressed Australian children’s entertainers have seen demand soar, and parents are in desperate need of tickets, twice as much.


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