I've just got back from holiday at Ohope Beach (just over the hill from Whakatane). I left Wellington in winter clothes and by the time I hit Taupo I was peeling off layers. Whilst I was away the temps were between 22c and 26c, and on the day I left Ohope, the temp was ... wait for it ... 29c! Wow.
I swam every day I was away. Mostly I'd class the 'swim' as more of a 'frolic'. Sometimes the waves were so fierce at Ohope, I couldn't even attempt to swim properly. Maybe if I had gone out some distance, it might have been okay, but I stayed in a depth where people could see me from the shore. To me, it was a strange beach because I didn't know about rips, or rocks, or low tide distances, or anything about those darn biting crabs that wanted to eat my toes. And all this stressed me a bit.
But I do love Ohope Beach. It has just been voted New Zealanders' Favourite Beach.
Here are the volunteer guys from Ohope Surf Rescue raising the flag to show that they are on duty.