The power of community to create health is far greater than any physical, clinic or hospital." - Mark Hyman
I moved to Waitara from Nova Scotia, Canada nearly 8 years ago to be with my now husband in his home town. Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful that the universe threw me into this little town on the west coast of New Zealand.
Waitara? You say. Waitara? Yes, I know, it seems whenever I tell people in Taranaki where I live, I get raised eyebrows and looks of sympathy or surprise and quite frankly, I'm over it.
I felt compelled to write this post, while on my morning walk, because the community you live in is a big part of your health and living in Waitara has done nothing but fill my spirit since the day I moved in.
The fact that there are preconceptions about it (and I won't say what those are) is unfair. Those people (and you know who you are) who have some tarnished idea of what Waitara is, have obviously never truly experienced its natural beauty or the beauty of the people who live here.
I'm proud and honoured have been welcomed into Waitara, and while the list could go on, here's my top reasons why.
1. Waitara is beautiful. Seriously! Look at this place! Waitara is a quiet little town
embraced by not just the mountain but the sea and the rivers as well. In just a short walk around my neighbourhood today I saw shimmering marshlands, beaches, a variety of birds (including Mr. and Mrs Spoonbill that come back each year), towering pines, surf, horses grazing and lush bush. And that was only in 20 minutes! My husband and I love going canoeing on the Waitara river and being able to catch fish just a stones throw from our home.
2. Waitara has the best of both worlds, it's a quiet little town but also close enough to New Plymouth for you to get away from the city, or get into it. On a good day, a drive to New Plymouth for work is only 15 minutes - try telling Aucklanders that 'Waitara is too far out of town".
3. The climate. I always joke that the sun always shines in Waitara but there is some truth to it. Waitara has its own little micro climate which means not only do we enjoy some fantastic weather but you can grow just about anything! So many times I've been basking in the sun at home only to have to drive into town for torrential rain. Maybe working from home isn't such a bad idea after all.
4. As a nutrition coach, Waitara is fantastic. Since Bin Inn Waitara took the initiative to stock more organic and hard to find healthy items, it's been a destination for all of Taranaki to get what they need. Not only that but it's Taranaki's only refillery meaning you can bring your own jars and fill them up with wholefoods such as nuts, oats etc.
You even save money by doing so.
Not only that but recently The Quick Fix set up outside Rua Kiwi Gardens not far from the Waitara turn off. Amy, the owner has been making incredible raw treats, fresh salads and smoothies for anyone wanting good healthy food and they taste amazing. We've got Wayfinders Eatery too, lots of great options and amazing coffee.
5. The people. Seriously Waitara, you rock. I have never passed anyone on the streets of Waitara that didn't acknowledge me with a smile and a hello. When someone is in need, the whole community steps up. The ladies at the library know me by name as do workers in most shops around Waitara. There are more and more community events happening including the night markets (over 2000 showed up at the last one), crop-swap and country music festivals. We've also got a beautiful new community sports and recreation center here and the unveiling day was inspiring and heartfelt.
So I challenge those of you next time who you raise your eyebrow or disapprove to come spend the day in Waitara. Visit the beach, have a shop, and say hello.
Not interested? That's ok, we're doing just fine without you. xx