Rated one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, the Tutukaka Coast is truly spectacular.
The journey through local farmland and lush native forest opens up to reveal peaceful coastal villages, spectacular seascapes, secluded bays and tranquil estuaries.
Tutukaka is fast gaining a reputation as a holiday resort with an abundance of accommodation for all budgets and tastes as well as great cafes, restaurants and a purpose-built marina.
The coastal area, only half an hour north-east of Whangarei, is the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve.
The Islands, 25km off shore, have been rated by the famous Jacques Cousteau as one of the top-ten dive sites in the world - the water is known for its clarity and an abundance of sea life.
Sea currents and visibility up to 30 metres underwater allow the diver, kayaker and snorkeler to see a highly-populated, rich and diverse tapestry of marine life.
The world's largest sea cave can be found here, a record claim lodged with the Guinness Book of Records. It is an amazing 7,900,000 cubic feet with over a hectare of sea surface area inside the cave itself.
Not surprisingly, the islands have a rich cultural history and were home to a local Maori tribe (Ngati Wai).
But since their bloody massacre in 1822 the islands have been labelled tapu (sacred), with no one allowed to set foot ashore thus becoming a very special Nature Reserve.
The Tutukaka coast boasts some of the finest beaches in the country-Matapouri , Whale Bay and Sandy Bay are all nearby and will spoil you for choice.
Matapouri Bay is a spectacular white sand coastal beach that is popular with families, and connects to a peaceful estuary ideal for kayaking.
Explore the local coastline including a walkway via the coast to Whale Bay with splendid coastal views along the way (20 minutes one way).
And close by is Ngunguru-adelightful coastal village nestled on the shores of an estuary.
Great for water sports, the estuary is ideal for launching boats and waterskiing, or hire a canoe to further discover the local waterways.
Amenities and attractions include general store, nine hole golf course, bowling greens, tennis courts, surfboard hire, cafe´ and local crafts.