It's unclear where the driver of a stolen vehicle thought they were heading when they drove into the water off a popular bay on the Tutukaka Coast.

What must have become clear pretty quickly was the Subaru Impreza was not an amphibious craft.

The discovery of the waterlogged vehicle at Kowharewa Bay was reported to police about 9.30am yesterday.

Whangarei police Senior Sergeant Darren Sullivan said police had the car towed from the ocean as soon as possible to prevent any environmental damage.

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They confirmed no one was in the vehicle when police got there.

A check of the not-so-seaworthy craft revealed it had been stolen last December. It was also linked to previous dishonesty offending.

Anyone who saw any suspicious activity involving the vehicle in the area over the past few days should contact police at Whangarei station on 09 434 0500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.