OPINION: A standard summer in the Tron usually involves a few roadtrips to the beach.
As much as I love our fine city, I don't love it enough to take a dip in the Waikato River or the lake. No thank you. Nuh-uh. Never.
Floating down the river on an inflatable boat however, I will do . But that's another story.
Living in an inland city has its downside, especially in summer. Fortunately, about 45 kilometres northwest of Hamilton is the seaside town of Raglan which becomes abuzz with beach-goers during the summer months.
The windy road to get there from Hamilton is a bit of a bitch but the view of the ocean as you come over the hill into Raglan is a stunner.
The main drag is littered with boutique cafes and clothes stores and of course there's the Harbour View Hotel where we normally stop to quench our thirst with a cheeky cider. Or beer. Whatever you prefer, really.
Our beach of choice is the ever popular Ngarunui Beach, otherwise known as Ocean Beach. It's a blacksand surfing beach.
It's a hike to get down and up particularly for the more unfit types out there, myself included. And it's windy more often than not. My friends and I go there whenever we can, usually on a Sunday after a night jam packed with too much fun and not enough self control.
And then there's Mount Maunganui, a mere 112 km from Hamilton's city centre. Obviously, it's further away than Raglan but there's a place where you can stop on the way and fill your water bottle up with fresh water. It tastes amazing.
The drive is cruisy, the friendly banter is flowing and there's usually talk of stopping at Copenhagen Cones after we've spent an afternoon frolicking in the waves.
The surf is calmer, and there's not as much wind. The main beach can be overcrowded so we try to pick a spot further down Marine Parade.
That said, an hour and a half there and back in a car means a long day and a late return.
So here' s my question to you: which beach do you prefer - Raglan or The Mount?