Experience the Top of NZ

Golf ·  Horse Trekking ·  Fishing · Kayaking ·  Adventure Tours · Gumdiggers · Hiking · Swimming · Surfing · Quad biking · Sand Surfing

Experience the Stunning and Unique Top of New Zealand

This truly subtropical slim finger of New Zealand is only 10km wide in parts so there are three untrammelled coastlines to explore within easy commuting distance.

Experience the wild west coast on 90 Mile Beach, a world of forest, sand & ocean. The beach is an almost never ending paradise, where you can dig shellfish (tuatua) or cast a line to catch a fish for dinner or maybe take a hike and enjoy the solitude with only the seabirds for company.


At the top of New Zealand we have the meeting of the seas and the mystical Cape Reinga, with Te Werahi Beach, Tapotupotu Bay and further east Spirits Bay all with their own attractions which include several hiking trails of various distances.

And then to the calmer east coast with the two pristine harbours of Parengarenga and Houhora where the historic Subritsky homestead is situated at the entrance to the harbour and the unspoiled beaches of Rarawa with its snow white silica sand and the golden sands of Henderson Bay . Both of these beaches are good for surfing in favourable wind conditions.


Further south to East Beach which can be accessed at Houhora Heads or from the southern end at Kaimaumau. Another great beach for collecting shellfish, bird watching and surfcasting.



Great Exhibition Bay

A remote dream location with no public access by vehicle though you can hike in from Rarawa Beach. Best way to visit this pristine and isolated area is by hiring a local guide and explore by quad bike, horseback or 4WD.

This vast wonderland of white silica sand is truly one of New Zealand's best-kept secrets. Kilometers of turquoise surf rolling on to the purest, whitest, cleanest sand imaginable, and no one else is there! Claimed to be the purest deposit of silica sand in the world. View the dotterels, oystercatchers and godwits, collect shells, have a swim or simply be awestruck with the natural wonder that surrounds you.

Check out Sea Toys for Quad Bike tours and Kahikatoa 4X4 Fishing Adventures for 4WD trips and Ahikaa Adventures for kayak and barge tours to the white silica sands.

Sightseeing and Nature

There are well marked hiking trails for the keen hiker or simply stroll along the unspoiled beaches collecting shells as you go. There are about 2500 species of sea shells known from NZ waters, most of them found nowhere else in the world

Observe the amazing variety of sea, sand and land birds or maybe even a glimpse of dolphins in the surf. See the wild horses in the forest near 90 Mile Beach.


NZ Dotterel

The endangered NZ flax snail grows
up to 85mm long.

Wild horses on the edge of the forest close to 90 Mile Beach



For the keen hiker there are several trails around the Cape Reinga, Te Werahi Beach, Spirits Bay, Pandora area with distances ranging from a 1 hour to 3 day hike. Cape Reinga is also the start of Te Araroa - The Long Pathway, a 3000km trail that stretches from the Cape to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. Further south on the peninsular there is a 4km walk around the shore of Lake Ngatu another natural treasure which is a popular venue for Northland Waka Ama events.

The newly upgraded Te Paki coastal walk links a number of stunning locations, including iconic Cape Reinga, into a multi day hike catering to most fitness levels. A boardwalk across Waitahora Lagoon (Spirits Bay) provides a safe passage between track sections as well as an opportunity to view an amazing variety of birdlife. The trail offers a huge diversity of spectacular scenery including coastal forests, wetlands, dunes and beaches. Do the whole trail or pick a section - there's something for everyone.

For more information visit the DOC website: www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/northland/kaitaia-area/te-paki-coastal-track/ 


Sand Surfing

Get your adrenalin rush as you surf down these golden sandy giants at Te Paki Stream. Sand toboggans can be hired at the stream from Dave & Rose, Ahikaa Adventures.


Houhora has New Zealands northernmost 9 hole golf course. Clubs can be hired at the clubhouse. See the events page for more details for tournament dates etc


Four renowned surf beaches (Spirits Bay, Rarawa Beach, Henderson Bay and Ahipara) located on 3 coasts ensure great odds of catching that good wave


The peninsula is surrounded by some of the best fishing and diving waters in the world, stretching from Karikari Peninsular on the east coast, north to the Three Kings Islands, and south to Ahipara on the west coast. The area has a real attraction to the serious and casual fisherman. Land fish from the rocks, beach or wharves or bring your own boat for sports fishing or big game fishing. See the events page for fishing contests both for kids and adults held by the Houhora Big Game Fishing Club.



Fascinating history of the area is to be discovered at the following:-

Gumdiggers Park -

An authentic Kauri Gum digging site over 100 years old. Maori, European and Dalmatian people formed this now forgotten gum digging culture and provided the basis for one of the biggest industrial booms in New Zealand's history.

Ancient Kauri Kingdom -

Visit the local factory showroom and view the giant ancient kauri staircase and the extensive range of Ancient Kauri wood products crafted out of swamp timber over 40,0000 years old.

Subritzsky Homestead - Houhora Heads

 The Wagener Subritzky Homestead is a rare example of an early pioneer homestead in a remote area to have survived in original condition. Check at the local campground office for permission to enter


The main road to Cape Reinga is now sealed all the way and the side road to the beaches are generally in good condition and passable in all conditions. Driving on 90 Mile Beach is generally not permitted if you have a rental car, however if you want to have the thrill of driving up the beach and Te Paki Stream with a local guide a good option is to take a tour with Harrisons Cape Runner which leaves from Kaitaia daily.

Fuel is available at each end of the peninsular. From Awanui in the south there is no service station for petrol until you reach Waitiki Landing some 80 km to the north. A good idea is to check your fuel gauge before you proceed north from Awanui

Information Centres

Two information centres in the area, one in the shopping and services section of our new Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia, and at the Te Ara Toi Gallery in Awanui.

Shopping and Services

From Awanui to Cape Reinga we have four settlements where you are able to obtain supplies, food , meals etc.

In Awanui you have Kai Ora Farms outlet with honey and oysters, the BP service Station and the Ancient Kauri Kingdom with its café. 2.5 km's north of Awanui.  Wapapakauri Hotel is situated 2.5km's north of Awanui and offers bar bistro type meals.

Next stop Pukenui Village, where there is an excellent country store, Houhora Wharf Store where you can stock up with supplies, a great café Pukenui Pacific and a liquor wholesaler. On Friday and Saturday nights the Houhora Big Game and Sports Fishing Club's restaurant is open and a touch north of Pukenui is the local Houhora Pub where you can join the locals and enjoy a meal and a drink.

Te Kao, famous for its giant ice creams, local Maori art and weaving also has a local store where you can get supplies.

Last but not least Waitiki Landing, the last bastion of civilization before the Cape. Restaurant, liquor store fuel stop and general store
Health clinics are situated at Pukenui, Te Kao and Te Hapua



The peninsular has a full range of accommodation from Holiday Parks, Camping Grounds, Backpackers, Motels, Hotels, Bed and Breakfast, Lodges and Holiday Homes all staffed or owned by locals who will ensure your stay is something special. Refer to the accommodation pages for more information.





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