Swim or snorkel in the pristine waters, fish for snapper and other big game or be the first to leave footprints in a perfect stretch of white sand at the Karikari Peninsula. Visit the vineyards and sample the superb local wines or enjoy a round of golf in the peninsula’s stunning interior.
The Karikari Peninsula is a finger-like stretch of land that reaches out into the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Doubtless Bay. It features two very distinct coastlines. The western coast is rugged and rocky, while the Pacific Ocean-facing coast is characterized by a series of sweeping white-sand beaches and coves. The peninsula’s warm climate and plentiful seas made it historically and culturally significant for the Maori people. Some areas are traditionally owned by Maori communities and out of bounds to visitors.
Start your visit at the small fishing village of Rangiputa. Catch your own dinner by dropping a line off the harbor wall or spend an afternoon kayaking in the calm waters. Making your way north from here, you’ll come to the glorious Karikari beach. This beach has safe swimming waters and plenty of room to lay down your towel on the sand and feel as though you’re the only person for miles.
At the end of the peninsula’s northern road, you’ll find Matai Bay. This spot is known for its excellent fishing. Chat to a local and join a boat trip for the day. If you’re looking for somewhere secluded to camp, you’ll find a designated site here. Visit the stunning cove of Whatuwhiwhi to see the forest meet the beach.
The largest of the beaches is Tokerau, a 16-kilometer (10-mile) stretch of white sand that also has great fishing and swimming spots, as well as gentle waves for surfers. Inland, don’t miss the excellent vineyard and golf course.
The Karikari peninsula is located in New Zealand’s “Winterless North,” making it a fine place to visit any time of the year.