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Explore the Tutukaka Coast


If you are thinking of hiring a campervan from Auckland and travelling up to the beautiful winterless North, make sure you visit the Tutukaka Coast. Located east of Whangarei, the Tutukaka Coast is a must-see part of the North Island, with its amazingly beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and a getaway to the world-renowned Poor Knights Islands marine reserve.

An icon on Northland’s horizon and 23 km off the northeast coast of New Zealand, the Poor Knights Islands are washed by a warm current that sweeps down from the Coral Sea. Water temperatures are warmer, visibility is clearer, and the complex underwater landscape results in a unique environment. We suggest you get a boat to the Poor Knights and go for a dive or a snorkel.

Near Tutukaka town is Matapouri, a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay that’s perfect for swimming (even in winter, if you’re wearing a wetsuit). Just up the hill from Matapouri is the track to Whale Bay. Fringed by large pohutukawa trees, this sheltered beach is both beautiful and peaceful. Getting there along the walking track is half the fun.

Beyond Whale Bay, the beaches are more open to the ocean. Sandy Bay is a much-loved surfing spot, renowned for its great waves, surf comps, and backdrop looking out over to the Poor Knights. Don’t worry about your surfing level, Sandy Bay is ideal even for beginners, as the wave is kind at Kiddy’s Corner and wicked further down the break. Check out other top surf spots in the North Island.

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