Sandspit Residents & Ratepayers Assoc.
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This is the official website of Sandspit Residents and Ratepayers Association. (SRRA)
The Sandspit Story
Sandspit is a small and friendly community at the mouth of the Matakana and Glen Eden Rivers and on the northern shore of Kawau Bay.
The residents live here because they think it is a beautiful environment, close to the water and fringed by regenerating native bush. With just 250 residential sections and around 230 houses, it is valued by everyone as a place of great natural beauty and a peaceful environment.
There have been many man-made changes over the last 100 years. In the early days of European settlement most of the prized kauri was logged out. There are extensive tracts of regenerating Kauri, between 30 and 40m tall with many trees over 200 years old. The steep gullies contain a rich flora of pungas(treeferns), Nikau palms, Cabbage trees and a rich understory of smaller plants.
Kereru (NZ native pigeons) feed on the berries of taraire and puriri trees. The shoreline, particularly the cliffs are covered with pohutakawa and kowhai trees and attract hundreds of nectar eating birds, particularly the noisy tuis, when in flower each spring.
Brick Bay Beach nestles between two rocky headlands and is a popular safe swimming spot during summer, with soft white sand and a gently shelving beach. It is also a favourite photo shoot for wedding parties.
Sandspit is a residential community with limited commercial activity. The busiest activities are concentrated at the wharf which is the main access point for residents and visitors to Kawau Island. There is a large public carpark on the spit adjacent to the wharf. A ferry and water taxi service looks after the transport needs of islanders and thousands of visitors, both local and overseas.
Looking at the Spit from the water.
Sandspit is the largest port in Rodney District, with bargeloads of construction materials being shipped to Kawau. The Sandspit Cafe provides hospitality to locals and visitors.
Other services include, eight Bed and Breakfast establishments, a café, boatbuilder and ship's chandlery,
art gallery, yoga studio, holiday park and campground, a ferry service, and three vineyards, one with an accompanying sculpture trail. The nearest shopping centres are at Snells Beach, Matakana or Warkworth, all within 10 kilometers.
Sandspit Holiday Park
Across the road, on the eastern side of the spit is the Sandspit Holiday Park. which is packed out every summer with bach owners, campers, caravanners and tourists. Many campers return year after year and indeed many who bring their children, enjoyed the Holday park when they themselves were younger. Jared and Zena host our annual Christmas barbeque.
This is the social event of the year when the whole community gets together with a 'byo' (bring your own) affair, with some to share, and to celebrate the past year while enjoying the company of other residents. It is a great opportunity for new residents to make friends in the district.
The Sandspit Yacht Club generates a great deal of activity with a clubhouse, slip and haul-out facilities for boat owners. Next door is Lees Boatbuilders which has been servicing mariners needs for 50 years.
Sandspit Road runs from Warkworth to a junction of Mahurangi East Road. There it turns and runs about two kilometers into the community center on the foreshores of the Glen Eden River. The access road onto the foreshore was not completely formed and developed until the 1930’s and was not paved until the 1970’s. Sandspit was therefore not fully sectioned and developed until much
later than comparable seaside areas in New Zealand. Many of the early houses were modest bach style residences but more recently, the community has matured to a full residential area, with modern houses and large areas of reserves around the foreshores.
Matakana Estuary looking towards Glen Eden River.
The network of walking tracks, constructed by resident volunteers, are highly valued by walkers, who are attracted by the close up views of bush and the distant views of the Matakana estuary and Hauraki Gulf.
There are public walking tracks that encircle the seaside area from the campground, past Horshoe Bay, and Brick
Bay (opposite Snells Beach) terminating at the beach there. Since Sandspit is too far from Auckland, it is not generally considered a “bedroom community” and there is little commuting traffic to the city, although this does appear to be increasing due to the Alpurt motorway cutting travelling time by another 10 minutes.
Boardwalk across the Eastern end of the Estuary near the Holiday park
Our newer residents may be unaware of our publication entitled "The Story of Sandspit" written by Maurice Copeland, a local resident. It gives an indepth story, from the early days of Maori summer visits to harvest the rich fishing of Kawau Bay, up to the end of the 20th Century.
Copies are available at $12 each - contact our Treasurer, Margaret McCallum or any committee member or please ring Margaret, Mob:0274257051.