According to the Pacific Coast Highway Bible Whanarua Bay is considered by many to the prettiest bay on the coast. And well it may be.
But at the bottom of a similarly steep driveway, and the next bay along the road, is Maraehako Bay, our destination.
We were just in time to catch the soft evening light on the adjoining bay.
To sit in the courtyard:
And watch the day draw to a close out over the sea.
We had expected "absolute sea front accommodation" and we weren't disappointed, any closer and we would have had wet feet. The quirky buildings are all built by the owner Pihi, over multiple levels with steps and ramps and decks hither and thither amongst craggy rocks and cliffs and giant pohutukawa trees. That's our room with the yellow door, just up a few steps from beach level, with the kitchen above.
It's a peaceful, secluded paradise in a little bay with a freshwater spring and little waterfall with hammocks strung above the stream - and resident eel. No photo, you can only see him at night with the aid of a torch.
A torch is also needed to visit the little cave on the other end of the tiny bay where little blue penguins surf in to nest for the night.
This is not a beach for long walks in the sand, but I enjoyed scrambling over the rocks, fighting to keep my footing. I only fell a couple of times, lost a bit of skin off my elbows and knees but it was fun!
Maraehako means "a place of meeting for good people".