Tutukaka Coast – Things to Do

The Tutukaka Coast is the gateway to Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand's premier diving, snorkelling and fishing location. Add beautiful white sandy beaches, abundant fresh seafood, excellent shopping, arts and crafts and it is easy to see why this pristine region is recognized as a world class travel destination.

From Ngunguru in the south to Sandy Bay in the north this vibrant stretch of coastline is packed with sightseeing and leisure activities for visitors to enjoy. With centrally located accommodation on hand like the beautiful Quality Hotel Oceans Tutukaka this internationally acclaimed tourist region is the perfect destination for your next holiday.

Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve

Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is rated as one of the top ten dive destinations in the world and considered New Zealand's most popular dive location. Discover giant kelp forests, undersea cliffs, sand gardens, giant rays and the vast numbers of fish that live within its clear waters. Be inspired by the immense lichen covered walls of Riko Riko – the world's largest underwater cave and see firsthand the corals, sea sponges and colorful anemones that live within this intense marine cavern. The temperate water conditions make this marine wonderland an excellent dive location all year round. So no matter what time of year you visit, a dive or eco-cruise at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.


Surfing enthusiasts and those who enjoy open ocean swimming will want to schedule a trip to Sandy Bay. Located at the north end of the Tutukaka Coast this popular beach is a 'the' surf destination for locals and tourists alike. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced board rider local surf school Tutukaka Surf Experience can offer some tips about the Sandy Bay break.

To the south of Tutukaka nestled right on the estuary is the village of Ngunguru. This pretty seaside town is a great location for water sports like kayaking and fishing and with plenty of family friendly activities on offer it is well worth a visit. Why not enjoy a walk along the waterfront or visit the town's popular children's playground Whale Tail Park.

If it is white sandy beaches and picturesque bushland you are looking for then Whale Beach is sure to please. With its sheltered waters and quiet location this beautiful coastal hideaway, lined with magnificent Pohutukawa trees, is a wonderful location for a peaceful day of sun and swimming. Remember to pack your digital camera for some stunning holiday snaps.

Walking trails

Tutukaka's pristine coastal environment offers picturesque walking trails to suit beginners and experienced walkers alike.

Take a hike along Te Araroa (The Long Pathway) and discover just one small part of New Zealand's longest track. This 7 kilometer 2.5 hour walk travels through pretty farmland, regenerated bush land and plants and offers eye-catching glimpses of the coastline. Venture along the grassy track to the Tutukaka Headland and Lighthouse Walkway. Here you will find clear views of Poor Knights Islands and on the track back home there are hidden beach inlets to explore. Take some time to visit the Tane Moana Walkway and admire the Giant Kauri – the largest remaining tree of its kind on the east coast. Or get off the beat track and experience the dramatic cascading waters of Whangarei Falls. With abundant flora, fauna and birdlife to discover the walkways of the Tutukaka Coast are a 'must do' for visitors to the region.

Food and wine

Sit, relax and watch the yachts sail majestically into port at Tutukaka Marina. This pretty destination offers the best dining experience on the Tutukaka Coast and with plenty of caf├ęs and restaurants to choose from you are sure to find something to suit your mood. For fresh, local, sustainable produce stop at at Schnappa Rock. Open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner and with fresh, locally sourced produce like New Zealand mussels, freedom farm pork belly and homemade potato gnocchi, this iconic local restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some local hospitality. For the best pizza on the coast head down to the famous Marina Pizzeria and soak up harbor views from the restaurant deck. This family friendly eatery has an extensive food and beverage menu and is open from midday until late. The award winning Oceans Restaurant and Bar offers a la carte style dining in the heart of Tutukaka and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From water sports and bushwalking to fine dining and eco-cruises this amazing coastal region really does have it all. A trip to New Zealand would not be complete without a visit to the glorious Tutukaka Coast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *