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With time on your hands, explore the road from Raglan to this isolated, coastal harbor settlement 55 km (34 mi) to the south. It's a fine route, skirting the eastern flank of Mt. Karioi and passing the turnoff for Bridal Veil Falls, but much of the road is gravel. The region is steeped in history and little developed. In 1350 Kawhia was where the Tainui people, the region's earliest Polynesian settlers, first landed after their long sea voyage from Polynesia. Beside Kawhia Wharf the Kawhia Regional Museum and Visitor Information Centre interprets this long history. Volunteers run the museum; it's easy to find since it's the only building on the "street." What those in the know come for, however, are the Te Puia hot springs at Ocean Beach, east of town. There's road access to the beach (or it's a two-hour walk from Kawhia). You can find the springs only by digging into the sand a couple of hours either side of low tide, so check the tide tables in Raglan before you set off.
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