A waterside gem with location to match
Looking for a summer getaway? Want to feel that seaside breeze and enjoy the sand and sun? Sound like a TripAdvisor advert yet? Well this ain’t no advert but I can tell you right now, this spot is legit and after spending a couple of days here, I was fully relaxed and recharged ready to hit the year running again. Bledisloe Holiday Park located in Maketu, in-between Tauranga and Whakatane in the Bay Of Plenty has one of the best locations I have seen for a holiday park.
Located on a spit which extends into a tidal inlet, the park is surrounded by water on 3 sides with just the entrance hill providing access in and out. Pukehina Beach is just a short swim away while a walking track provides access to Newdicks beach.
Important note: It would pay to ask the camping ground about the tidal inlet if you are unaware of how they work as the current can be quite strong as it goes in and out. A lot of people have been caught out here and almost drowned. Being informed and wary of the water will help keep you safe and out of danger. You will see people often playing in the current but just be careful you understand how the currents work and how to enter and exit them, my first day there had to help drag 2 people out of the water who nearly drowned after getting into trouble.
The camp has many different options available but you definitely want to get a campsite that is next to the water as this provides a stunning view to wake up to in the morning or to relax during the day and night. The camp site has its fill of regulars who I would guess come every year but it also has locals who come thru during the day to go collect seafood and swim. On the website it does say that seafood is easily collected for evening meals, just make sure you bring a means of cooking your catch. Even though the camp does have kitchen facilities like a microwave and hotplate, you will need your own utensils.
Being such a splendid location does have its slight drawbacks, mainly there isn’t much access to shops nearby, the nearest Supermarket would be over in Te Puke which luckily is a short 15-20min drive away. There is a dairy over the hill in Maketu and the camp itself does have a shop with some basic stuff.
The camp ground facilities are basic but with a kitchen and well kept bathrooms, it is all you really need. Powered sites are available for both tents and caravans so as a digital traveler power is no issue. Unfortunately there is no WiFi provided by the camp ground however cell reception there is excellent with 4G coverage across all of the ground and across to the beach too and having my Laptop tethered to my phone I had no problem with video calls and livestreaming. I even joined a podcast while I was there and managed to make everyone jealous with this glorious background.
I will definitely return again to this camp ground, it is less than an hour drive from my home in Rotorua and with such a relaxing location it was a great way for me to recharge over the summer break. I think I’ll buy a small canoe so I can spend even more time out on the water. Bledisloe Holiday Park, just go!
Marcus Powell has been living and working in South Korea since 2010. He has now returned back to NZ and works for Digital Natives Academy as the lead education program designer. Aside from writing his own blog, he is also a popular Club DJ, Gamer, Community manager, esports fan and anime enthusiast.