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
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
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
4X4 Fishing Adventures for 4WD trips and Ahikaa
Adventures for kayak and barge tours to the white
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
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.
The endangered NZ flax snail
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
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/
Get your adrenalin rush as you surf down
the Giant Te Paki Sand Dunes. Sand boards can be hired at the
sand dunes from Dave
& Rose, Ahikaa
Houhora has New Zealands northernmost 9 hole
golf course. Clubs can be hired at the clubhouse.
Four renowned surf beaches (Spirits Bay, Rarawa
Beach, Henderson Bay and Ahipara) located on 3
coasts ensure great odds of catching that good
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
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
- Houhora Heads
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 from BP2Go Ninety Mile Motors
Awanui in the south, 36kms from there is Pukenui 24 hour
fuel and from there, about 45 kms, to Waitiki Landing.
That is the last fuel stop.
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 five settlements
where you are able to obtain supplies, food , meals etc.
In Awanui, you have the BP Service Station, a bakery
and dairy. Wapapakauri
Hotel is situated 2.5km's north of Awanui and offers
bar bistro type meals.
In Waiharara you will find an excellent country
store, Steeds Store with groceries and a butchery.
Just before the Pukenui Village there is The Hub -
Bistro and Takeaways with beautiful food. In the village
is a great cafe Pukenui Pacific Café, where you can
join the locals and have a meal and beer.
Te Kao, famous for its giant ice creams, local Maori
art and weaving also has a local store where you can get
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
The peninsular has a full range of accommodation from
Holiday Parks, Camping Grounds,
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