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Kiwi towns

What’s so great about Tutukaka: what to see and do

Tutukaka Wharf path past Pohutukawa trees in bloom, Northland

POOR KNIGHTS ISLAND, SNORKELLING, DIVING ARE WHAT MOST PEOPLE THINK ABOUT TUTUKAKA

Tutukaka’s badge of honour is an enormous dive bottle marking the entrance to the marina. Together with a holiday park, motels and holiday homes visitors quickly realise they are visiting a classic summer beach place where jandals are the norm. The Poor Knights Marine Reserve, diving wrecks and plentiful marine life plus the beaches are a magnet for summer holiday makers.

Tutukaka Dive experiences, New Zealand Tutukaka Dive experiences
Tutukaka Boat Rides, New Zealand @Tripadvisor Tutukaka Boat Rides @Tripadvisor

Fame

  • Jeroen Jongejans, cycled around Tutukaka and stayed. A committed environmentalist, he set up business eventually known as Dive Tutukaka and was instrumental in getting Poor Knights islands declared a marine reserve.
  • Whangarei District Council takes great pleasure in awarding a Civic Honour to Paratene Te Manu (Sonny) Wellington to acknowledge his long-standing contribution to the Ngunguru and Tutukaka communities

Notoriety

  • Visitors polluting Mermaid Pools with used sanitary products.

MOTTO “Wild Blue Younder”

Jeroen Jongejans @DAN MCGRATH
Tutukaka diving @jeroenjongejans
Tutukaka kayaking, New Zealand @KIRKLAND
Tutukaka kayaking @KIRKLAND

Highlights

  • Water activities
  • Dive HMS Tui & HMS Waikato wreck
  • Kayaking and fishing cruises
  • Snorkelling the wild blue yonder Tutukaka marine environment
  • Quiet Northland beaches with glistening white sands

Where to take the best selfie

  • Humongous dive bottle outside Dive Tutukaka
  • Poor Knights Island snorkelling
  • Numerous glorious white sandy beaches
  • Frying pan lookout between between Ngunguru and Tutukaka, on top of the Tutukaka Hill on the main road, complete with a map describes landmarks

Kids

  • A short distance is Ngunguru with playground and adjacent dairy
  • Tutukaka beaches
  • Tour operator activities for kids from scuba diving, paddle boarding and surfing lessons. Tutukaka Surf offers paddle boards for hire from the Tutukaka Marina.
Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand @Wanderlusters
Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve @Wanderlusters
Tutukaka is the base for boat tours for diving and snorkelling around the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka Marina, New Zealand
Tutukaka is the base for boat tours for diving and snorkelling around the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka Marina

Tutukaka Coastal beaches & Poor Knights Marine Reserve.

Wander among  the boats at the Tutukaka Marina, watch people fishing off the wharf, have a swim at the beach at the end of the marina or just sit back with a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy the ambience. Tutukaka Coast beaches are among the most spectacular in Northland, and New Zealand. There are so many beaches to choose from, each with individual character and beauty.

Dive boats depart daily and with 100′s of sites to choose from the options are extensive. Several dive companies operate from Tutukaka Marina. Either hire full gear or just the equipment that you need on the day. PADI Dive courses, refresher dives and underwater photography are all available.

Who turned up and settled in Tutukaka?

Pre-European settlement reaches back to the beginnings of human occupation of Aotearoa New Zealand. The name Tutukaka means parrot snaring tree, Puriri tree’s juicy red berries attract parrots and wood pigeons. A favourite food for pre-European Maori. Today holiday homes and locals share their wild blue yonder’ with visitors searching for the perfect quiet beach.

What keeps the place going?

  • Tourism

Judgment

  • Half a day might not be enough time, definitely a place where you wish you had planned a longer visit.
Tutukaka marina from the water, New Zealand
Tutukaka marina from the water
Whangaumu Bay, Wellington's Bay, Tutukaka, Northland, New Zealand @Rob Plim
Whangaumu Bay, Wellington’s Bay, Tutukaka @Rob Plim

Best time to go

  • Year round in the winterless North

Social media

Population

  • 600 (over 2,400 in summer)

Be careful

  • The scenery is drop dead fabulous however do not stand in the middle of the road to take the photo, it’s not safe

Getting there

Unique journeys, personal adventures are worth it.

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