Kayaks and beach walks: A family winter holiday in Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

The night we arrived we got straight into things with the friendly folks from Waimarino Kayak Tours. Our family loves being on the river (once everyone settles into the co-operation required for double kayaking) but this was a bit more than the usual fun on the water. After mulled wine, cheese, crackers and charcuterie and chat – all kayaking should start this way – we slipped into our kayaks just as the sun was setting and paddled gently up from Lake McLaren Falls Park towards a narrow, high-sided canyon.

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The night was cloudless and it was hard not to take a sharp intake of breath as we entered the canyon to be greeted by the sight of thousands of sparkling glow worms all along the walls – it was way beyond what the word “magical” can express. Paddling in a kayak with the stars above and the glow worms all around is quite different to a cave glow worm experience and even our teen was impressed.

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