PHOTO:  TOM LEE/STUFF Kāwhia’s large natural harbour is rich in kai moana.

New Zealand’s dying rural towns can be pretty rough places to live, with low-paying jobs – if you’re lucky enough to find one – and a lack of amenities, prompting many to move elsewhere.

Some of our poorest towns, however, are also some of our best places to enjoy a classic Kiwi summer break – time capsules, if you will, to the Aotearoa of yesteryear. Think staying at a basic bach beside a beach undisturbed by crowds of sunseekers and getting stuck into wholesome outdoor activities such as tramping, mountain biking, fishing, boating and tucking into unwholesome quantities of fish and chips and ice cream from the local dairy or Four Square.

So before you book yet another break to a holiday hot spot increasingly overrun by tourists, why not consider the towns that would actually benefit from more visitors. Your holiday snaps of hidden attractions really will blow your mates’ minds (no one in New Zealand needs to see another photo of Cathedral Cove or that Wānaka Tree).



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