Meet the Hanna family...
Meet the Hanna family...
Jan and I were both fortunate to have parents who loved holidaying at the beach.
We always had a two-week summer holiday at a beach somewhere, whether it be in a family tent on one of my Dad’s mates' sections, later in a caravan, or in my grandparents bach at Lang's Beach or my other grandparents home at Paihia. When I was about 15 my parents bought a bach at Oakura Bay and we spent many happy summers holidaying and boating there.
When my parents relocated from Northland to a farm in the King Country and sold their Oakura bach we carried on holidaying here in the camping ground at Pirutahi Bay, just over the hill from Oakura. Eventually we bought our own beach house at Oakura and have holidayed there regularly since 1999.
To help cover our costs we rented the beach house to families from around NZ and overseas. In 2004 we purchased another beach house at Opononi, just inside the Hokianga harbour entrance, and was rented out to families and groups for holidays year round until sold in 2015.
In 2002 the partner of a good friend of ours, Bev, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Murray and Bev stayed in our bach at Oakura as part of a “final tour” of Northland. This planted the seed of an idea that emerged years later.
In early 2007 I met with the Northland Cancer Society and North Haven Hospice management and offered to provide this service to 10 families per year. They were delighted. With their encouragement and practical support we began immediately (6 February 2007) with our first guests under the program. Many families with a member suffering from this awful disease have had time relaxing together here under our Supporting Families Programme.
Beach Escape Ltd is a small company owned by our family trust to market and manage our beach house holidays to other families.
We love sharing this magic place with fabulous people from the world over.
Any family with a loved one diagnosed with a serious health issue experiences a stressful emotional roller-coaster journey.
We provide up to 5 selected families per year with a complimentary "time out" experience staying for up to a week in our family beach house. Each family experiences quality time together talking, sharing, watching the ocean, boats and beach activities, walking along the beach and watching the sunrise and sunset away from all their normal daily pressures.
The programme utilises our family beach house during the off season (April-November excluding Easter and public holiday weekends).
The service is fully funded so families only need to bring their personal effects and food. Linen and towels are supplied and at the end of their stay our caretaker takes care of laundering the linen and towels and cleans the beach house to make the family's stay as easy as possible.
The service is run with practical counsellor support from North Haven Hospice (Whangarei), the Northland and Auckland Cancer Society who identify and recommend suitable families where this "time out" would make a significant positive impact.