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Twin Coast Discovery Road Trip Northland & Bay of Islands

Tutukaka Coast Wander

Tutukaka Lighthouse coastal views Tutukaka Lighthouse coastal views

From Whangarei you continue North and the signs for Tutukaka Coast. Tutukaka describe the area, ‘wild blue yonder’ with quiet beaches off the beaten track, a world renown Poor Knights Islands: Things To Do and See – Best Bits

Tutukaka kayaking@KIRKLAND

Spending time wandering around Hikurangi Waro Reserve where wind and rain have shaped vertically carved cliff faces. The reserve is a natural sculptural fantasy. Hikurangi’s former coal mining bush tram site is now a quiet reserve with farmer’s cows watching the occasional visitor wander past. Then onto Tutukaka where water sports is a given visitor activity. Surf, kayak, dive sub-tropical waters in a protected marine environment or explore marine life in rock pools. Artists gravitate to Tutukaka coast for its landscapes and its place in the story of Aotearoa NZ. The sense of community offers visitors the temptation to stop, linger and enjoy artistic working studios

Read more about Ten reasons to linger in Tutukaka Coast

You will pass through the quiet small settlement of Kiripaka,  once home to over 2,000 coal miners.  The bridge across the Ngunguru river is a memorial to World War II soldiers while Scow Landing is where the sailing scows were loaded for the Auckland market. As you have followed the coast look out for historic dry-stone walls that line each side of the road. The Whangarei area has an estimated 1500 kilometres of dry stone walls. Some were built as early as the 1860s. Scows Landing is now a launching pad for kayaking trips.

Art gallery Ngunguru Pottery is worth a stop with their interpretations of native leaf shapes. The pottery runs workshops for pottery fans using hand-building techniques, teaching glazing and firing in weekend workshops.  A great reason to linger in Ngunguru. A glorious place to buy a present for yourself. You always needed another vase or pottery decorative piece for the house anyway.

@Ngunguru Pottery
Tutukaka lookout past Ngunguru settlement

TIP

Ngunguru or frying pan lookout photo moment

It is spectacular. The lookout, known as the Frying Pan, even has an elevated platform for people to climb for an enhanced panoramic view.  You might strike a tour bus stop in which case chill out and wait fifteen minutes for the crowds to get back on their tour bus.

If your timing is right the sunset views are instagram moments.  The views are of the Poor Knights to Mt Manaia. The timber lookout height and ramp are designed to be accessible. There is seating and picnic tables for your recently purchased fish n chips from the local shop in Ngunguru.

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