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Tutukaka Coast

Tutukaka Coast  – a mecca for water enthusiasts

If you head east from Whangarei, you will find the Tutukaka Coast. It will take you just over an hour to drive there. and is the perfect day trip. This coastline is a direct continuation of the Whangarei Heads coastline and has been noted as being one of the top coastal destinations in the world by National Geographic. Tutukaka Coast is also known as the gateway to the extraordinary Poor Knights Islands. These islands are a world-renowned marine reserve.

Long stretches of sandy beaches alternate with intimate bays, steep cliffs, and deeply cut natural harbours.

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As you drive out there you first pass through the seaside village of Ngunguru. This small community is located along the tidal estuary which is protected by a large sandy peninsula on the other side. There are a few cafes and takeaways here.

Travel a bit further and you’ll come to Tutukaka Marina. A fabulous location to enjoy lunch at the Snapper Rock Cafe or the Marina Pizzeria. There are several surf shops and a fantastic Gallery at the Oceans complex.

The beaches you will find further north from Tutukaka are all truly stunning. Whale Bay is a small sheltered half moon bay and Matapouri possibly the most photographed beach in the area. All the surfers flock to Sandy Bay where the surf is usually as perfect as it gets.

map of all Tutukaka beaches

Whale Bay

Whale Bay is the most beautiful small half moon bay. It is accessible by a track from Matapouri road. Great for snorkelling and swimming. Very sheltered white-sand beach with overhanging trees providing shade.

Wooleys Bay

Wooleys Bay is a big open surf and swimming beach. Easily accessible from the main road with great parking areas. There is no shade but lots of space for picnics and play.

Matapouri Bay

Matapouri beach is a large half-moon beach located in the small beach community of Matapouri. Grab a refreshing drink or cold ice cream at the local shop! This is truly a spectacular spot on the Tutukaka Coast. Very picturesque beach to visit.

Sandy Bay

You have to take the side road off the main road to get all the way to Sandy Bay. This beach is very popular with the local surfers as the surf break is usually perfect. Surf competitions bring lots of surfers challenging themselves in the waves. Great fun to watch.  It is usually possible to hire boards either in Tutukaka surf shop or at the beach at times. You can find shelter and shade at the southern end of the beach. Large Pohutukawa trees overhang the beach and create a spectacular setting over Christmas.

There are also numerous great walks and hikes in the Tutukaka area.


Into the Wide Blue Yonder

The Wide Blue Yonder awaits you on this circular route along the beautiful Tutukaka Coast. Start from either Whangarei or Hikurangi. Feel the lure of the ocean as you travel towards the coast. Beautiful beaches, lovely walks and the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands.

Download the ‘Into the Wide Blue Yonder’ map here

Map of Into the wide blue yonder Tutukaka Map of the Tutukaka Journey 'Into the wide blue Yonder'