Best place in New Zealand: Kawerau

Date published: March 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Comments

We asked our readers to tell us where the best place to live in New Zealand is…

Surrounded by bush, forest and farmland, the small town of Kawerau sits in a prime position, no more than 20 minutes from beach, lakes and forest attractions.

It is also centrally-located and approximately an hour from Tauranga and Rotorua and half hour from Whakatane.

Built in the 1950s it still has that pioneering spirit and friendliness, yet is right up-to-date with facilities and is kept prsitine by the local council.

We came here 43 years ago, planning to make some good money and move on, but we never wanted to leave, and we probably never will.

Kawerau is on a loop road so there is no through traffic, but loads of visitors come specifically to stay, especially in camper vans, which are welcomed and even given a couple of free nights on powered sites. They visit the Tarawera Falls and do some of the many walks and bike rides, then relax at the lovely free heated pools, including spa. Right beside the town runs the beautiful clear Tarawera River and beyond it towers Mt Putauaki (or Edgecumbe), a beautiful backdrop.

In many ways Kawerau is becoming a retirement village because house prices are still quite low and retirees can have a handy sum in hand by moving here.

It’s hard to say whether Kawerau is the prettiest town in New Zealand, or the friendliest, but it has been called both. One thing it is, to coin a well-used cliche, is the best-kept secret in New Zealand – but I’m letting you know it now.