Tutukaka Coast

Tutukaka Coast

Tutukaka Marina

Located 30km east of Whangarei is the beautiful Tutukaka harbour, with the marina at its heart. Home to over 200 boats, both privately owned and commercial vessels, the marina is also a social hub for the area.


Restaurants include the highly rated Schnappa Rock; the Marina Pizza Br & Grill (09 434 3166); Waihi Restaurant at Oceans Resort Hotel (oceansresorthotel.co.nz); and The Anglers’ Bistro at The Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club (sportfishing.co.nz).

During the summer months, a Twilight Market is held every fortnight on the green at Tutukaka, with food stalls, music and artisan products available.

Poor Knights Islands

Tutukaka Marina is also the best point to take a trip to visit the famous Poor Knights Islands. This group of internationally recognised islands, located 23km off the coast, are a nature reserve above water and a marine reserve below the surface for 800m around the islands. They are listed as one of 10 best dives in the world. There is a spectacular range of over 125 species of fish to see that will happily interact with divers and snorkelers without fear of being caught!

Dive!Tutukaka runs daily trips from the marina out to the islands. Dive boats leave at 8.30 am and a snorkelling and sightseeing ‘Perfect Day’ trip that departs at 11 am (diving.co.nz and aperfectday.co.nz).

Diving Poor Knights Islands

photo credit David Kirkland

Matapouri Bay

Just north of Tutukaka is the small settlement of Matapouri. Its long, white sandy beach has gentle surf and an estuary at the southern end. There is a store, playground, toilets and parking.

ronin Fishing Charters


Mermaid Pools

Please note that the track and access to the Mermaid Pools have been closed indefinitely. Damage to the vulnerable ecosystem at the pools, due to high visitor numbers, has required this closure until a better management system can be developed. Please respect this decision so that this amazing natural feature can be protected for future generations.


Whale Bay

From the northern end of Matapouri beach there is a walking track to the beautiful, secluded, white sand Whale Bay (40 minutes one way). Alternatively drive further along Matapouri Road and park in the Whale Bay carpark and walk from there (15 minutes one way). The tracks are well maintained and there are basic toilets.


Sandy Bay

This beautiful wide beach is just 11km north of Tutukaka and is considered one of Northland’s best surfing beaches. Parking and toilets are available.


Te Ara Roa Trail

The Tutukaka Coast section of this 3000km trail travels through a variety of landscapes from sandy beaches through native forest, to pine and eucalyptus plantations. There are even a few estuaries to cross! (teararoa.org.nz)



Tutukaka Gallery is located in the row of shops below the Oceans Resort Hotel and features work by a variety of local artists. Open 7 days in summer and Friday – Sunday in winter (moasesart.com).

The Gallery & Café Helena Bay Hill is worth a mention despite not really being on the Tutukaka Coast. A 50-minute drive from Tutukaka, it makes a nice destination for a drive, some lunch with a view and a great selection of art, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery. (galleryhelenabay.co.nz)


Into The Wide Blue Yonder

This Northland Journey can be done in a day, or you can slow it right down and stop for a night or two to really enjoy all that the Tutukaka Coast has to offer. Turn off State Highway 1 at Hikurangi and wind your way out to the coast enjoying beaches, bush walks, food and shopping and of course a trip out to the iconic Poor Knights Islands. (northlandnz.com)

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