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Travel Guide

Amazing North Auckland Mahurangi Peninsula

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Te Arai Beach @TravelOutThereKiwi

In this Article

Leigh, Goat Island, Omaha and beyond, beaches and parks

North is where Auckland locals go for the summer. There are several glorious regional parks as well as sheltered sandy beaches for a summer fix away from the crowds. The Tawharanui  peninsula is home to a number of wineries, sculpture parks. Spectacular beaches include: Omaha and Point Wells, Leigh and Pakiri beaches, Matheson Bay and the surfing beach Te Arai. Goat Island Marine Reserve with diving and snorkelling opportunities is a highlight for many visitors to Tawharanui Peninsula.

From Mahurangi Peninsula to Tawharanui Peninsula and beyond are a series of eastern facing sandy shallow beaches and towns welcoming visitors for over a hundred years.

Tawharanui Peninsula, New Zealand @rach.manera
Tawharanui Peninsula @rach.manera


  • Goat Island Marine Reserve, diving and snorkeling the reef
  • Ocean facing beaches with swells favouring surfing buffs
  • Horse rides on deserted sandy beaches
  • Leigh & Matakana cafes, gift shops, bakeries and beach culture
  • Tawharanui Regional Park walks


Tawharanui Regional Park is white sandy beaches, rolling pastoral land dotted with sheep,  shingle beaches where low tide exposes pippi (shellfish) beds, native coastal bush and forest and regenerating wetlands. The road to Tawharanui passes Warkworth and Matakana and continues winding through rolling farms. The end is in sight when you reach the gravel narrow road. The Tawharanui Regional Park embraces the end of a peninsula that extends into the Pacific Ocean just north of Kawau Island. The long, sandy beach on the northern side is considered to be one of the best swimming and surfing venues in the Auckland region.


  • A night trek to observe North Island brown kiwi with Habitat Tours. You can even join the tour from Auckland with a return later that evening.
Tawharanui Regional Park, New Zealand @ilmapo85
Tawharanui Regional Park @ilmapo85


Travel pack information

For details about the towns please check for best things to do while not hanging out at the beach.

Read more about places to visit in Auckland in our Auckland travel guide.

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