Why you need to visit Doubtless Bay
Doubtless Bay is a stunning place to base yourself for a weekend (or longer) as you check out the sights of the top of the north. From hidden harbours to picturesque beaches, quaint small towns and leisurely walks, there’s a lot more here than meets the eye! Here’s our recommendations on what to do in Doubtless Bay.
Accommodation here ranges from absolute beachfront like Golden Sand Beachfront Accommodation, historic properties like The Old Oak Boutique Hotel, easy-going motels and holiday parks and cute glamping like Riverside Escapes. You can base yourself in Mangōnui and the villages of Doubtless Bay, or head a little off the beaten track to places like the Karikari Peninsula, Hihi Beach or even down to Taupo Bay and Whangaroa which are all within a short drive.
This area is known for its stunning white sandy beaches. In Doubtless Bay you’ll find the picturesque Coopers Beach, a long family-friendly option, and Cable Bay where the icecream store across the road provides an extra reason to stop here. Along the Karikari Peninsula, Maitai Bay and Puwheke Beach are popular destinations (for good reason). The further you venture along the coast in this area the more you’ll find, all the way up to Te Rerenga Wairua Cape Reinga.
Doubtless Bay and the surrounding areas are an excellent base for exploring the top of the country. As far north as you can go, Te Rerenga Wairua Cape Reinga is a majestic and spiritually significant destination that’s always worth a visit. There’s a range of walking tracks around the area, and the colliding of the two oceans is an impressive sight to see. Similarly, the giant Te Paki Sand Dunes are a must-visit, not just for their other-worldly appearance but for the adrenalin of hiring a boogieboard and sliding your way down these towering sand hills. If time allows, a visit to Ninety Mile Beach and the township of Ahipara which sits at the very bottom of the beach is always a great addition, especially to catch an epic west coast sunset.
Thanks to the subtropical climate, this is also an excellent place to sample the flavours of Taitokerau Northland. You’ll find the northern-most winery at Carrington Estate, and Dancing Petrel is an excellent stop (by appointment only) to taste some of the more unique varietals that thrive in the warmer weather of the north. You won’t be searching for food either, from the iconic Mangōnui Fish Shop, to Apatu Aqua (smoked and fresh seafood), to fantastic little bakeries and cafes like Little Kitchen Café in Mangōnui and The Bakerman Café in Awanui.
If you like to add a little extra activity in your holidays, you’ll love checking out some of the awesome hikes like Kaiaraara Rocks (The Dukes Nose), Mahinepua Peninsula Track and the Maitai Bay Headland Track. Closer to town, the Mangōnui Heritage Trail is a great way to learn about the history of the town while the Rangikapiti Pā provides outstanding views over the sweeping coastline.
You won’t want to depart before you’ve visited the boutiques and gift shops around Mangōnui. From stunning art to lux homewares, beautiful garments and exquisite accessories, you’ll be spoiled for choice. And last but not least, head over to Butler Point Whaling Museum where you’ll find Butler House, the residence of Captain William Butler built in 1847, a private and comprehensive whaling museum and gardens of exotic and native flora, including extensive stands of ancient Pohutukawa trees.
More inspiration for a Doubtless Bay trip
Headlands and Hidden HarboursYou could spend a lifetime exploring this beautiful coastline and always be kept guessing about what’s around the next corner.
Te Hiku o te Ika-a-MāuiA land of many names; The Far North, Top of the North, Muriwhenua, Te Hiku-o-te Ika-a-Māui is the furthest north you can go in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Feast and Forage in the Far North