One of the great things about having a holiday home on a peninsula is that you are never far away from a little bay that you have never seen or photographed before.
Te Karo Bay fits into the mould perfectly and was only 27kms from my house in Pauanui.
Being an early riser means my current fixation with sunrise photography is it not really a stretch for me to rise at 5am for a 6am sunrise. What makes it easier though is a little App I purchased called TPE for Android. TPE gives you the time and direction of sunrise and sunsets superimposed over maps so you can see whether the sunrise will be affected by any hills, islands or whatever. There are many mores functions, to many to list here but I certainly recommend the basic functions if you are looking for the perfect sunrise. There is nothing worse than getting to a location just to see that you are blocked out by some badly placed hill.
TPE also allows you look scroll through the maps looking for potential places of interest and then once you have identified something drop a pin there to see what time and in what direction the sun will rise. (It takes into account seasons, daylight saving times and has all same functions for the Moon as well)
This is how I found Te Karo Bay. It is at the end of Sailors Grave Road, on the right as you climb to the top of the hill, heading north out of Tairua. (There is an actual memorial sailors grave on the hill over looking the beach) A very nice beach with a tidy car park and well maintained stairs and tracks.
The rocks I felt were very photogenic.
Te Karo Bay is really worth a visit if you are in the area. There were a number of surfers camping in the car park when I arrived, so I would assume it is a decent Surf Beach. Not sure they were to happy when I arrived on the Rocket III at 5.30am.