Northland, New Zealand
Tourists exploring 90 Mile Beach, Northland.
What is Northland?
Northland is New Zealand’s farthest north region, stretching from Auckland to Cape Reinga’s lighthouse. The area is a sporting person’s paradise, unspoilt, dramatic, beautiful and washed by reasonably warm Pacific waters on the east side and the Tasman Sea on the west. The Bay of Islands is a 16 km (10 miles) inlet on the east coast that offers excellent protection against storms and high seas, making it one of New Zealand’s prime marine sports centres, well, apart from surfing.
90 Mile Beach, Northland
Ninety Mile Beach access road from Hukatere, north of Ahipara.
On the west coast of Northland’s Aupouri Peninsula is 90 Mile Beach (which is actually 55 miles/88 kms long), popular for driving, biking, land-yachting, fishing, horse riding, surfing and sand surfing on the monster dunes. The regular access point is little Ahipara town which offers a range of low-end accommodation options from B & Bs to camping. Ahipara is at the south end of the beach and 14 kms west of Kaitaia.
90 Mile Beach, dune surfing.
But don’t leave 90 Mile Beach too late or the tide will sink your wheels, a frequent occurrence for unwary tourists. Two hours either side of high tide is the most dangerous time.
Bay of Islands, Northland
Tourists on a ‘Tall Ship’ eco-cruise around New Zealand’s Bay of Islands.
Getting used to a kite on a Bay of Islands beach.
Popular sporting activities in Northland range from kayaking (very protected waters and lots of interesting coves), kite surfing (steady winds and soft sand to cushion mistakes), walking, chartered sailing on yachts, motor cruisers and dinghies, scuba diving and snorkelling (no dangerous predators), sports fishing and in summertime just plain old swimming (with dolphins if you’re lucky).
Dolphin cruising in the Bay of Islands.