Kaitaia there are plenty of things to do. Kaitaia is a place where visitors are either going up North to Cape Reinga, ‘up the road’ or South to Mangonui, ‘down the road.’ The town has a reputation for being a place where rival gangs compete for territory. Yet the town is very welcoming to visitors as a substantial part of the local economy works in the tourism sector. Kaitaia, located on state highway one is a natural hub for far north attractions such as Cape Reinga and coastal Te Paki track.
The town has a strong sense of community and family (whanau) and asking where to go and how to get there you will be offered plenty of advice.
WHAT ARE THE PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY KAITAIA?
- Cape Reinga Lighthouse and the top of Aotearoa New Zealand
- Ahipara and Shipwreck Bay where gumdiggers once launched reefers to export kauri gum now surfers experience some of the best swells in New Zealand
- Ahipara arts and craft centre is a mere 14 km away
- Gumdiggers Park, an original 100 historic kauri gum site
- Mangonui and the best fish n chips in NZ
- Fascinating dune lake Lake Ohia and Lake Ngatu
TE AHU KAITAIA – Multi-functional Community centre
Te Ahu is a multi-functional community facility in Kaitaia in Northland, New Zealand, which houses the area’s library, museum, i-SITE visitor information centre and council customer services. The complex also houses a café, a variety of venues for hire including different sized meeting rooms, banquet room and a main hall, little theatre, art space and cinema.
You will not easily forget Te Ahu; the Pou that surrounds you, representative of local iwi (muriwhenua), nor the godwits suspended overhead, or the fish of Maui beneath your feet.
Croatian surnames combined with Maori ancestry add a quixotic mix to the cultural identity of Kaitaia. The town welcome sign is in three languages. Maori, Croatian and English. Originally Croatians moved to the region to harvest kauri gum in the early 20th century.
A private museum housing extensive range of Farmall tractors covering a period from 1920’s to 1950’s as well as a variety of other makes & models. Exhibit vehicles include Tangyes, Wolseleys, Andersons, Listers, Bamford, Nashs, Chevrolets and a Singer Roadster. There is a onsite cafe.
- Open: week days in the afternoon
- Otherwise: check website for up to date information
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE IN KAITAIA
- Welcome sign in three languages
- Te Ahu Kaitaia community hub floating sculptures and pou (ceremonial poles)
- Street mural art
WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS
- Gumdigger Park and find out about an industry that once employed 20,000 people in the district
- Visit Ahipara beach and go beach fossicking
- Find a road sign pointing north or south
WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?
- Economy is based around forestry and tourism
- 6,310 (2021)
Sub-tropical climate with rain largely in winter (June – September)
- Gritty provincial town where you will invariably be asked, ‘Are you going up the road (Cape Reinga) or down the road’ Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Far North & Northland Region nearby attractions and events.