Tutukaka, a subtropical stretch of coast on New Zealand’s northern peninsula and part of the Bay of Islands, is still somehow a bit of a secret. Despite stretches of white sandy beaches fringed with natural forest, crystal oceans hiding hundreds of dive sites, and land and seascapes offering spectacular surfing, kayaking, cruising, fishing and bushwalks, Tutukaka is still a hidden gem.
Whether you start on land or in the sea, there is plenty to experience during a stay at Tutukaka. Diving is undoubtedly what many travel here for, with the Poor Knights Islands and HMS Tui/HMS Waikato wrecks attracting divers year round. These pristine marine reserves offer up astounding underwater landscapes forged from remnant volcanoes, once part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, now home to a dazzling array of marine life. With hundreds of sites to choose from, there is an adventure for every level of diver. As a bonus, the temperate waters offer comfortable diving all year round.
This is the world’s largest sea cave – and is found in the Poor Knights Islands, North East of Whangarei in Northland, New Zealand. The cave is certainly large enough to accommodate two large boats! The name RikoRiko means ‘Dancing Light’ and refers to the patterns the sunlight makes on the walls of the outer cave as it bounces off the water. #newzealand #newzealandlandscapes #landscape #northland #poorknightsislands #cave #seacave #rikorikocave #huge #large
If diving isn’t your thing, boating, fishing and kayaking are all beautiful ways to enjoy the water from the surface. Tours depart daily, cruising around the marine reserve to enjoy the majesty of the islands, and dropping anchor to snorkel, go for a paddle or drop a line. Do not miss Rikoriko Cave, the world’s largest sea cave, formed when a giant gas bubble was created in an ancient erupting volcano.
There are beaches galore in this part of the island, from white sandy stretches and pebble-covered shores, to coveted surfing breaks (Sandy Bay and the Ngunguru Bar are the most popular spots, and offer board hire and lessons) and calm harbours. Tutukaka Northland has a nice list, describing a few of the area’s many beaches, but why not just pull up somewhere and wander down a path and see what you find at the end? If you’re after still waters, head down to the Marina and wander to the Inner Harbour, flanked by grassy hills and bushland – great for a casual picnic lunch.
Naturally, the walking in this region is excellent, with short and long walks to suit every fitness level. For something spectacular, take the Tane Moana Walkway and check out the largest kauri tree on the north coast (this path can be uneven and crosses streams: wear good shoes). There are also walks along beaches, up to the Tutukaka Headland Lighthouse, and Te Araroa – The Long Pathway passes through Tutukaka on its 3000km trail, one of the longest in the world.
Accommodation in Tutukaka
In Tutukaka, accommodation options are plentiful. To make sure you’re right where the action is, choose Tutukaka accommodation near the marina, such as the Quality Hotel Oceans Tutukaka. This spacious hotel has 27 rooms and two bedroom apartments featuring super-king beds, stylish furnishings and satellite TV.
Make the most of your stay and book a room with a view over the marina and enjoy waking up to the sparkling waters of Tutukaka Harbour. Tutukaka accommodation doesn’t come much more convenient than this: with free WiFi, a heated outdoor swimming pool and an onsite restaurant, Quality Hotel Oceans is a great choice for every traveller and a fantastic base for a stay in Tutukaka.
Alternatively, you can choose to stay at the Comfort Hotel Flames Whangarei, which is situated closer to the airport. Found amongst tropical gardens that overlook the beautiful Whangerei Harbour, Comfort Hotel Flames Whangarei is the ideal place to stay that offers style, location and comfort.