An hour and a half north of Auckland is Waipu, a town steeped in Scottish heritage. With the founding arrival being described as one of the world's great migrations, some 900 people followed the outspoken, fiercely Presbyterian pastor, Norman McLeod from Scotland to Nova Scotia, then Adelaide, finally settling in Waipu in the 1850s. Among a myriad of other activities, the annual Art N Tartan wearable arts awards help keep Scottish heritage alive.The baseline population is around 1,500, swelling to more than 20,000 during summer as people flock to the beautiful Waipu Cove and nearby Langs Beach for days in the sun and sea. The town has a small but delightful museum, a sprinkling of antique shops, health stores and its own beer-making facility (McLeod's Brewery) at a cosy place at one end, where summer visitors also enjoy gourmet pizzas.
Reported for our AA Directions Autumn 2018 issue
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