Activities and attractions
Aupouri Peninsula, Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga
The beautiful Aupouri Peninsula is a sub-tropical paradise in the Far North of New Zealand - stretching north from Ahipara and Kaitaia. Steeped in pioneering history and maori legend, home of the giant swamp kauri and treasured kauri gum. Experience our unspoiled beaches to swim, snorkel and gather shellfish, take time out to enjoy some of the best fishing waters in the world. The friendly local hospitality will assure your stay in the real Far North as something special. The magnificent white sand beaches of the east coast and Ninety Mile Beach on the west coast are easily accessible at Ahipara and Waipapakauri.
Take an adventurous journey along famous Ninety Mile Beach. Visit legendary Cape Reinga (an easy one and a half hour drive) where the restless Pacific Ocean collides in foaming anger with the Tasman Sea and see the lonely Pohutukawa tree from where, in maori legend, the spirits depart this world.
Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga
Ninety Mile Beach is best visited by specialist 4x4 vehicles with knowledgeable driver-guides. Frequent stops are made throughout the full day Safari Tour of the Aupouri Peninsula - desert brown sands of Ninety Mile Beach, cliff faces drenched in wild surf, the pure white sands of Great Exhibition Bay, the magnificent pine forests with their herds of wild horses and awesome Cape Reinga. Pick-up and drop-off in Kaitaia or Awanui. Far North Outback Adventures (ph: 09 408 0927)
Discover the history of the Far North and the gum digging revolution that shaped the landscape, the people and the local industries of our past as well as our modern day lives. View the maze of giant gum holes that reveal extraordinary kauri trees from prehistoric times and explore the mystery that caused the destruction of these ancient forests. Situated 25 kms. north of Kaitaia, four minutes drive off State Highway 1.
Located a few kilometres north of Kaitaia on State Highway 1 at Awanui, Ancient Kauri Kingdom displays hand-crafted furniture, art, crafts and gifts from the oldest workable timber in the world. See the amazing centrepiece in the shop - a staircase carved within a 140 ton log. Independent radiocarbon dating confirms that this tree had lain in a swamp for 45,000 - 50,000 years.
Fishing and kayaking
Based on the Parengarenga Harbour, 85 kms. north of Kaitaia, they offer the opportunity of surf casting (beach fishing and rock fishing), deep-water and game fishing and kayaking to secluded fishing spots - fishing for snapper, trevally, kahawai, kingfish and shark.
Te Wairoa (ph: 09 409 8884)
Enjoy fishing from Pukenui wharf in fully equipped, safe boats. Catch some of the many species found in Great Exhibition Bay.
Based in Ahipara, they offer Big Game Fishing full-day charters for novices or hard-core fishermen. WildCat 1 is an eight metre aluminium catamaran powered by a 200 HP outboard and cruises at 18-20 knots. The fishing grounds off Ahipara are relatively untapped and offer some of the most exciting nonstop action in the country. All fishing gear is supplied or you can take your own rod and reel. For the keen-eyed, there are dolphin and killer whales to be seen and occasionally sperm whales.
One of New Zealand's most northerly vineyards and wineries. The winery is situated on the road from Kaitaia to Ahipara. The first vines were established in 1984 by vineyard owner Monty Knight. Since then the label has earned a reputation for consistent quality, winning numerous awards including a number of gold medals.
Visit the Hokianga
About 60 kilometres south of Kaitaia, the Hokianga can be visited on a circular route. Take the highway south from Ahipara to Kohukohu and then the car ferry across the harbour to Rawene and historic Clendon House.
You can view the huge sand dunes at the mouth of the harbour on your way to the large Waipoua Kauri Forest reserve with the giant Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) and Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest).
Returning along the south Hokianga, you can visit the Wairere Boulders and the beautifully-sited Mangungu Mission House. Then take State Highway 1 back through the Mangamuka Gorge to Kaitaia.