Photographer shares drone photo of secret rock pool on Hibiscus Coast

A photograph from an Auckland drone photographer is bringing delight to locals after he highlighted a natural attraction many never knew was right in their backyard.

Mark Yelavic shared the photo of his 9-year-old son Mateo floating in a rock pool to a Hibiscus Coast community page on social media, with a caption asking Coasties if they recognised the spot.

Locals were keen to pinpoint the location, with various suggestions offered – some close and some way off.

The photo was widely praised, with one saying it captured an “incredible moment”.

Others who knew the spot tipped Yelavic about other hidden rock pools.

Yelavic told the Herald he took the photo last weekend and regularly used drones for photography after becoming an early adopter of the technology a decade ago.

He said he had operated within the regulations when accessing the location and getting the shot.

Yelavic told the Herald that the rock pool was near Stanmore Bay beach, in an area only accessible at low tide.

He shared another photo of his other son Luka chilling at the hidden spot – and a photo of the area at high tide, showing the difference a few hours can make.


He said his family called the area the “secret beach” and his sons were now the third generation to enjoy it, with his own father previously fishing nearby.

Asked whether he was worried he was giving away local secrets, Yelavic told the Herald he had been privately messaged by some seeking the location and was happy to share.

He noted that the pool was flushed out on every tide, different from other rock pools in New Zealand which can be badly affected by bathers leaving sunscreen residue in delicate ecosystems.

He said that the reaction from the local community had been great and was happy others would get to enjoy the “great little spot”.

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