The Pohutukawa Coast is a scenically stunning coastal and semi-rural lifestyle district within a 35 minute drive of Auckland City centre and Auckland International Airport and 20 minutes from Manukau City centre. It has been described as the jewel in the crown of Manukau.
The area (and the newspaper) are named after the iconic Pohutukawa trees which flourish along the clifftops and are renowned for their spectacular crimson flowers during summer. Pohutukawas are often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree as they are especially splendid during December.
Whitford Village, Beachlands and Maraetai are the main residential settlements along the coast, each with its own unique flavour.
The coast features several major regional parks including Omana Regional Park and Duder Regional Park, along with the popular all-tide recreational sandy beach at Maraetai and several other secluded bays along the coastline, each safe for swimming, including Sunkist and Shelly Bays in Beachlands.
Amenities include the international PGA standard golf course at the Formosa Golf Resort, Pine Harbour Marina and associated facilities, Whitford Park Golf and Country Club, Maraetai Beach Boating Club, Beachlands Boat Club, Te Puru Park Recreational Centre, Umupuia Marae, Maraetai Tennis Club and Maraetai Bowling Club.
A fast ferry service operates from Pine Harbour Marina adjacent to Beachlands, offering regular daily sailings to and from downtown Auckland - travel time 30 minutes. A popular Fresh Food Market is also held at Pine Harbour every Saturday morning.
The Coast is also home to a selection of fine restaurants and cafes and a number of boutique bed and breakfast options offering comfortable accommodation.
The Clevedon District is the rural hinterland adjacent to the Pohutukawa Coast.
The area includes lifestyle living mixed with traditional farming and is rich in history.
Clevedon is fast becoming known for its winemaking with numerous boutique wineries making for an excellent wine trail.
Wines, exotic foods and oysters are making the district a sought-after lifestyle destination. A Sunday Farmers' Market at the local A and P showgrounds, offers the best of fresh local produce while the weekly Sunday Craft Market displays an array of interesting handcrafts and giftware. Clevedon is also home to Auckland Polo, the largest polo club in New Zealand, which has five world class playing grounds on the banks of the Wairoa River, not far from the village.
Highlights of a visit to the Clevedon district include the local craft galleries, restaurant and eateries in Clevedon Village, the historic McNicol Homestead, excellent fishing, fresh oysters from Clevedon Oysters on the way to Kawakawa Bay and the nearby Hunua falls in the Hunua Scenic Reserve.
Further around the coast are the settlements of Orere Point and Kaiaua on the Firth of Thames as well as the renowned Shorebird Centre at Miranda and the Miranda Hot Springs thermal pools.