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What to do at the beach: driftwood mansions & art

  • 1 minute

Tips and tricks to summer beach activities

What to do at the beach with kids and people who have ants in their pants. Sandcastles are for little kids with older children feeling the challenge of bigger things in life. Think driftwood and start looking.

Driftwood on the beach at Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand
Driftwood on the beach at Hokitika

Why is building with driftwood a good idea

  • Foraging is active, it gets people out looking for found bits and pieces
  • The imagination is stimulated to think about how to put found objects into a shape
  • Everyone from the three year old kid to the teenager can contribute


A few rules around driftwood magic

Leave what you find at the beach. Driftwood is someone’s home, the habitat for marine life. Take down the beautiful fort and leave the beach as you found it.

Driftwood is wood washed ashore by the action of wind, tides and storms, do not use power tools to chop up the driftwood, use its natural found form. Do not disturb shorebirds, marine life while collecting driftwood. And definitely do not remove from the beach

Your structure is temporary, do not destroy the environment to build your driftwood fort

Driftwood shelter, Collingwood, South Island, New Zealand
Driftwood shelter, Collingwood
Driftwood bench seat on sand dunes overlooking Mount Maunganui Beach, New Zealand
Driftwood bench seat on sand dunes overlooking Mount Maunganui Beach

Best beaches are the wild west coast beaches from the tip of the country to Hokitika, where driftwood is a summer festival

Driftwood & Sand Festival

Check out the gallery of driftwood mansions, forts and objects to inspire your holiday temporary art installations.

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