North Otago has about 60 km of coast from the mouth of the Waitaki River south to Shag Point. Here you will find orange sand surf beaches, freshwater and saltwater fishing, Marine wildlife and the bizarre Moeraki Boulders, as well as some quaint little villages each with its own interesting history to share with you.
Kakanui 14 km south of Oamaru is situated at the mouth of the Kakanui River. The land around Kakanui has many limestone formations and produces much fossils. Kakanui has rich and fertile soil which make it perfect for use on sports grounds. Many of New Zealand's top cricket pitches use Kakanui soil. Kakanui's rich volcanic soil is perfect for horticulture. Kakanui contains a number of glasshouses used for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums. There are also many market gardeners growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Kakanui has a reputation for its new season potatoes which are popular throughout New Zealand.
Campbell's Bay, Kakanui's main beach is a good safe swimming beach. The beach has a length of approximately two kilometres, and the southern end is known as All Day Bay. There are good surf breaks on the north end of this beach,
Herbert is a small village 22 km south of Oamaru, the village has a service station, post office three churches and a dozen or so houses and is situated on the edge of the Herbit Forest. Five kilometres south of Herbert is the farming settlement of Waianakarua. The old stone bridge at Waianakarua is one of the oldest that is still used by the ministry of transport. Beside this bridge is an early example of a flourmill now converted into a hostel and 3 km upstream from the bridge is the historical site of another early flourmill, alongside the remains of a dam. Pig hunting, sea and river fishing are some of the activities available in the Herbert and Waianakarua district.
Hampden 30 kilometres south of Oamaru, is a small agricultural village with about 300 inhabitants. Hampden can boast a fire station, "fish n chips" shop, general store, motel, backpackers, The Hampden Lodge, service station with a mechanics workshop, a second-hand shop, the pub and the historic Town Hall. Hampden is situated near the Koekohi beach with its orange sand and good surf able beach breaks. There is also very good trout fishing in the local Wainakarua and Shag rivers. The local hills are popular for pig and deer hunting, deep sea fishing and diving are also very popular.
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