A hidden gem
Kuaotunu stretches along both sides of State Highway 25 for approximately 10 km, with stunning beaches on one side and farms, lifestyle blocks and native bush on the other.
Unlike many communities on the Coromandel Peninsula which have a low number of permanent residents, Kuaotunu has a high number of permanent residents and is very much a working community.
The social hub of our community is the Kuaotunu Village, located just off the state highway on Black Jack Road, in the lee of the Black Jack hill.
Want to know more about Kuaotunu and its aspirations for the future?
Not sure how to pronounce the name Kuaotunu?
Don't worry, you're not alone...
Watch Sharon Holt explain the Maori origins of the name and how to pronounce it.
A fascinating history
Kuaotunu has been settled for a long time - evidence of the first Maori settlers is still highly visible today. While there are now fewer than a few hundred permanent residents, in the late 1890's the town's population swelled considerably when gold was found in the area.
Passionate about our environment...
Whether Kuaotunu is your permanent home or a place you like to escape to when possible, chances are that you appreciate not only the strong and warm-hearted community spirit that exists here, but also the beautiful environment that we are lucky enough to live in.
From our stands of regenerating native bush, the many stunning beaches that surround us, to our beautiful dark night skies - we do indeed live in paradise.
But as the many environmental groups that operate here can testify, our paradise is under threat from all sides, including introduced predators (both mammals and plants), an increase in artificial light, diseases such as kauri dieback disease, and more.
Ursula, you have lived a long time here in Kuaotunu - why Kuaotunu, and how have you spent your time here?
I have lived in Kuaotunu for 41 years, and I have been working in New Zealand for 26 years with beautiful children in the wonderful environment and philosophy of a Rudolf Steiner. Children spread so much joy and keep you living in the moment.
When I came to Kuaotunu, I had this feeling that I was meant to be here and that I was guided here. We hitchhiked here seeking the East Coast sun and found a little cabin at Rings Beach. And despite being in the South Island later on a trip, I personally felt a draw back to Kuaotunu - it was very special and things started to fall into place for us here.
You have had a long involvement with the Kindergarten, can you tell us about that?
I am so grateful for my time with Nancy Bacchus who mentored me into the role within Steiner Education and the Kindergarten here, which we started together (first in the hall then eventually the building).
The kindergarten building that stands today is the result of the community that we had all coming together to help at the time - everyone was so proud of the kindy and they had their input. Many friendships and connections have been started due to the kindergarten as a meeting place for the families who use it.