Ahipara & 90 Mile Beach

About this image

Cape Reinga ‘Te Rerenga Wairua’

© Northland Inc

Renowned for spectacular sunsets it also boasts one of the best left hand surf breaks in the world and is home to one of Northland’s award winning wineries.

Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 55 miles long.

This beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. Rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia. If you are short of time in Northland and staying in the Bay of Islands, coach tours and scenic flight depart from Paihia daily traveling the beach up to Cape Reinga.

Beach activities range from surfcasting and swimming to bodyboarding down the sand dunes. A special treat is digging for tuatua (a native shellfish) in the sand at low tide. Flanking the beach is the Aupouri Forest, which provides a green escape from the hot sun.

Once a year in late February or early March, 90 Mile Beach hosts a five day fishing competition. Hundreds of anglers surf cast from the beach hoping to catch the biggest snapper, a delicious white-flesh fish found in New Zealand waters.

Shipwreck Bay is aptly named as it was the site of the sinking of many ships, the wrecks of which are still visible at low tide. Close by is the Ahipara Gumfields Historic reserve and the remnants of ancient kauri forests. Ahipara is a popular camping spot - other accommodation options include motels, bed and breakfast accommodation and self contained holiday homes or units.