Newsroom readers share their tips for local escapes  – from our ongoing summer series Backyard Explorer, with Canon

Get on your horse

With overseas holidays off the cards, there’s never been a better time see the country from a new perspective, and on horseback you are privy to some picturesque spots. Brenda Reading sent in this picture taken while in the saddle in the Oteake Conservation Park, near Omarama. The West and East Manuherikia Tracks, are shared-use tracks which can be used by 4WDs, motorbikes, horse riders, cyclists, and walkers, says Brenda. “It was a two-day ride, riding a horse with a friend, and our husbands and sons went in the 4WD with the gear and food, and stayed at Boundary Creek Hut. Which has old paddocks for the horses.”

Sharing the last rays with the one you love

This shot of a couple silhouetted at the Raglan jetty was sent to us by Brandon Clarke. “An iconic image of Raglan – at its best with someone you love, at sunset, on a long summer evening, sharing fish and chips.

“Raglan is, in my opinion, the the pick of the west coast towns where you can enjoy this facing the sunset over the sea. The Pōhutukawas are in bloom and the Phoenix palms are emblematic of this town on the Whaingaroa Harbour.

“Sunset, fish and chips, the beach and a friend or lover. Perfection.”

A hidden gem for day walkers

If you find yourself in the Wairarapa this summer make a beeline for Patuna Chasm, a 15-minute drive from Martinborough. This day walk is regarded as one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, and for good reason. Located on private land, the adventurous three-hour walk down river can be booked at Patuna Farm Adventures.  Ben Tossman sent in the photo above of his partner Jo, saying, “getting out of the city, camera in hand and exploring new parts of New Zealand during the summer is one of my most absolute favourite things to do.” 

Get beached in Waikanae

The Kapiti Coast is not short on places to park up for a swim with over 40km of beaches to enjoy, including Waikanae Beach (50 minutes from Wellington). This photo is from Dan Whitfield who took it after an awful Wellington morning of rain. “Crazy how the day turned out, to be honest! I could see the sun setting and hadn’t been to the beach in ages. I walked up the hill and over the dunes and was greeted with this amazing sight.”

“I just love summer nights like this because the days go on and on, and it brings out the beautiful colours as seen in this photo. The best part is being able to walk on the beach with friends and family, and just enjoying the sun.”

*This series is a partnership with Canon* 

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