‘Great fun’ up the Coast for German travel team

Visiting journalists enjoy five fun days up at Tolaga Bay and beyond.

Visiting journalists enjoy five fun days up at Tolaga Bay and beyond.

German tourist writer Kiki Baron and photographer Paul Spierenburg.

It is East Coast people who make the tourism experience something special, say visiting journalists from Germany.

Kiki Baron and Paul Spierenburg have just spent five “great fun” days up at Tolaga Bay and beyond.

Sponsored by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand, they say their experience was “something special”.

Kiki is the writer and Paul the photographer, and the visit here is for an East Coast assignment for Abeuteuer and Reiseu travel magazine.

Kiki says most tourism around New Zealand in Germany is focused on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, though Tourism NZ is strongly promoting 100 Percent Pure New Zealand in German media lately.

Having Maori culture experiences has been great fun. Kiki Baron says promotion of the district and some packages would help tourism here.

At the Tolaga Bay Inn, where the couple enjoyed memorable hospitality for one night, owner Lily Stender helped organise some activities.

“As part of our vision and mission for the Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust, I am helping to develop tourism within our untapped region on the East Coast.

“We don’t have tourism packages set up at this stage but with the help of our locals, we created a great experience for them by arranging a marae visit at Hauiti Marae, with Anne McGuire, Bruce Morris, Eddy Gray and sons providing a Maori powhiri.”

A real highlight was horse riding with Jimmy Braithwaite, but the couple enjoyed a lovely evening at the Tolaga Bay Inn, mixing with the pool and darts players, dancing and singing.

They woke up at Tokomaru Bay’s Te Puka Tavern to see seals on the beach just across the road.

“It was lovely.”

They went to a Uawa v Hikurangi rugby game and loved a trip up Mount Hikurangi.

“We also met up with the people who have the cashmere goats. The experiences we had were very special and it is the people who made them special.”

Being given a snapper by a local fisherman at Tokomaru Bay and a crayfish by a Tolaga Bay local was a real treat, but Kiki and Paul felt it was a shame that locals could not sell their produce.

“It is a pity the laws say they can’t take advantage of passing customers and sell the fresh fish. That is the sort of thing people want to experience. We can’t get fresh fish like that anywhere in Europe.”

Another horseback experience and cattle ranching in Ruatoria were a highlight.

They say the East Coast is an area with huge tourism potential, especially for individual travellers.

“There is not the accommodation for big groups, but mobile homes and small groups. There are stretches of empty beaches — never crowded, even in the high season.”

The area could definitely use a boutique hotel and restaurant for tourists, she said.

“But there is not the volume of traffic to make it worthwhile. It is a catch 22 situation. There needs to be a lot of promotion of the area.”

  • The next stop for the German tourism couple was Whanganui, followed by a luxury resort investigation in the South Island.

It is East Coast people who make the tourism experience something special, say visiting journalists from Germany.

Kiki Baron and Paul Spierenburg have just spent five “great fun” days up at Tolaga Bay and beyond.

Sponsored by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand, they say their experience was “something special”.

Kiki is the writer and Paul the photographer, and the visit here is for an East Coast assignment for Abeuteuer and Reiseu travel magazine.

Kiki says most tourism around New Zealand in Germany is focused on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, though Tourism NZ is strongly promoting 100 Percent Pure New Zealand in German media lately.

Having Maori culture experiences has been great fun. Kiki Baron says promotion of the district and some packages would help tourism here.

At the Tolaga Bay Inn, where the couple enjoyed memorable hospitality for one night, owner Lily Stender helped organise some activities.

“As part of our vision and mission for the Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust, I am helping to develop tourism within our untapped region on the East Coast.

“We don’t have tourism packages set up at this stage but with the help of our locals, we created a great experience for them by arranging a marae visit at Hauiti Marae, with Anne McGuire, Bruce Morris, Eddy Gray and sons providing a Maori powhiri.”

A real highlight was horse riding with Jimmy Braithwaite, but the couple enjoyed a lovely evening at the Tolaga Bay Inn, mixing with the pool and darts players, dancing and singing.

They woke up at Tokomaru Bay’s Te Puka Tavern to see seals on the beach just across the road.

“It was lovely.”

They went to a Uawa v Hikurangi rugby game and loved a trip up Mount Hikurangi.

“We also met up with the people who have the cashmere goats. The experiences we had were very special and it is the people who made them special.”

Being given a snapper by a local fisherman at Tokomaru Bay and a crayfish by a Tolaga Bay local was a real treat, but Kiki and Paul felt it was a shame that locals could not sell their produce.

“It is a pity the laws say they can’t take advantage of passing customers and sell the fresh fish. That is the sort of thing people want to experience. We can’t get fresh fish like that anywhere in Europe.”

Another horseback experience and cattle ranching in Ruatoria were a highlight.

They say the East Coast is an area with huge tourism potential, especially for individual travellers.

“There is not the accommodation for big groups, but mobile homes and small groups. There are stretches of empty beaches — never crowded, even in the high season.”

The area could definitely use a boutique hotel and restaurant for tourists, she said.

“But there is not the volume of traffic to make it worthwhile. It is a catch 22 situation. There needs to be a lot of promotion of the area.”

  • The next stop for the German tourism couple was Whanganui, followed by a luxury resort investigation in the South Island.
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