Another nine things to do on the Tutukaka Coast: wild blue yonder

Another nine things to do on the Tutukaka Coast: wild blue yonder

Beaches, diving, walks, art galleries a quiet corner of Northland has got it all

Holiday inspiration, family entertainment that does not cost the earth and places to explore are on your holiday shopping list. Perhaps a cafe for adults or art and craft venues for a gift or two. Tutukaka answers most of the questions about where to go and what to see. The ace in the hole is proximity. Location, location and location. Close to Whangarei for an urban coffee fix or the Poor Knights Island with its glorious marine world at your fingertips. Never been diving, explore a foreign world and find out what is beneath the deep blue Pacific ocean. Or perhaps a classic beach holiday where your mobile reception is spotty then Oakura Bay is the answer for a day trip.

Best time to visit

Year round although it does rain in Northland hence the green landscape. For summer devotees the most reliable month for warm consistent temperature is mid-January to February.


Tutukaka, NZ – Current Weather


Water Sports

With over eight beaches and river estuaries kids can paddle board the Ngunguru River or explore the nearby estuaries with their newly acquired snorkelling gear. The beaches are classic summer escapes without much in the way of facilities (apart from basic toilets) yet the quiet spaces are plentiful and the splendid white sand is inviting visitors to throw down a towel.

Poor Knights Island

This is not a cheap budget holiday option as access is only permitted by boat to the sheltered coves. Visitors are not allowed to land on the island meaning boats need to be fitted with facilities to support a day on the water. Tutukaka is the marina with it all for visitors wishing to give diving a go. Complete novices can join a half day tour of the Poor Knights exploring a foreign world. Kids can try snorkelling from the safety of a professional tour operator or try balancing on a stand up paddle board. A holiday treat where memories are created.


Walk the coast from headline to coves and beaches where the footprints are only what you left behind. There is something magical about a short break or holiday where you clamber over rocky outcrops and discover a white stripe of golden lovelingness waiting for you. Adventure outdoors, Tutukaka will deliver in spades. Remember to check the weather forecasts, carry water and check the tides. Remember to check the travel pack information for Tutukaka Coast and Walks brochure.

Art galleries & workshops

Creative souls run workshops challenging your imagination and skill as a potter. It’s glorious fun mucking around realising that your creation is probably going to spend its life in your deepest, darkness cupboard. There is always the potter’s gorgeous studio shop to indulge your desire for a new one of a kind object. Ngunguru is the artisan hot spot for the district with Oakura Bay a close second.

Location says it all, Whangarei day trip

Tutukaka is accessible to the delights of Whangarei and the district. With reimaginated Quarry Gardens and the Quail Cafe only a ½ hour drive it is possible to have your cake and eat it. Take a detour on your way to Whangarei to check out the Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve, a former quarry now a popular swimming spot together with extraordinary karst landforms. A worthwhile detour. Whangarei Falls will not disappoint waterfall fans as well as it has excellent access for wheelchairs and buggies. In Whangarei a visitor magnet is the Hatea Loop – Huarahi o te Whai (Pathway of Opportunity), a fully accessible walkway at the Town Basin Whangarei with a stunning international yachting marina, flags fluttering and nearby restaurants and cafes.

Horse Trekking on the beach

Located at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka Coast, Sandy Bay Horse Trekking is a boutique trail riding company that offers stunning views out to the Poor Knight Islands and beautiful horses. Trails for everyone from novice riders, beginners and the experienced. The horse trails follow estuaries, streams and beaches. For kids it is a great introduction to horse riding and experienced riders explore the coast the way they like the best, on horseback.

Off the beaten track Whananaki

The Whananaki footbridge is worth the detour alone. It is a narrow pedestrian bridge spanning just under 400 metres. Originally built to ensure school children on either side of the estuary could attend school the bridge continues to be a vital connection between Whananaki South and Whananaki North. The estuary, beach and walkways spoil visitors with the choice whether to collapse on the local beach at the nearby campgrounds or go for a brisk 2 hour walk to soak up the views.

Mimiwhangata Coastal Park

Tutukaka and its location makes for a great holiday hub. Approximately

Take a short 15 minute walk into Paparahi Point Recreation Reserve with the kids. A nature exploration trail for all age groups. The working farm with livestock, the careful closing of farm gates following signed instructions and the contrast between native bush and farm make for a great short walk. A hidden gem with its own campgrounds. The Mimiwhangata Marine Park is a perfect day trip from Tutukaka. For enthusiasts who wish to stay longer check travel pack information about camping rules for the coastal park managed by the Department of Conservation.Basic camping is available in the secluded Waikahoa Bay. Water and toilets are provided. There is no vehicle access directly to the campground, so all gear must be carried in over a steep, but short, path (approximately 5 minutes’ walk). Contact the Mimiwhangata Coastal Park for availability and bookings. Peak season bookings are accepted from 1 September for that Christmas and New Year. The Park is a permanent home to a number of threatened bird species, including one of the world’s rarest water fowl, the Brown Teal or Pateke. Amateur fishing and gathering is allowed – check the fishing and shellfish gathering restrictions in the marine park.

Go north and explore Oakura Bay, Whangaruru Harbour

Oakura Bay with its glorious beach tempts regular visitors. Oakura Bay is a gentle, safe and beautiful New Zealand white sandy beach on the seaward side of a large deep-water harbour with wonderful views out to the Pacific Ocean. At the northern end of the Tutukaka Coast, the Whangaroa Harbour is a day trip inspiration with highlights being Oakura Bay with its beautiful beach and Whangaruru walking tracks starting from popular Puriri Bay Campsite. The tracks follow through native forest and ridgelines before dropping down into secluded bays.

The journey is worth it.

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