Northern beaches and boats itinerary
The North Island of New Zealand is a haven for beachgoers, boaters, and adventurers of all kinds. You'll start with the black sands of Auckland's west coast before making your way across Northland, past the beautiful beaches of the Bay of Islands, and all the way to Cape Reinga, the country's southernmost point, where two oceans meet. Some of the highlights of this 10-day journey include sandboarding the dunes on 90 Mile Beach, kayaking on the Coromandel, and surfing in Raglan.
Day 1 - 2: Auckland Adventures
Auckland is a beach city, sandwiched between two harbours. Cross the Harbour Bridge to Takapuna Beach, where natural Pohutukawa trees grow to the sand's edge, or have fish and chips on Mission Bay Beach, a popular hangout for Auckland natives. The beaches of Auckland's West Coast are a must-see. With their black sand and pounding waves, these wild beaches provide a stark contrast to beaches on the east coast. At Piha, climb Lion Rock and watch the surfers ride the waves below. Take the ferry to Waiheke Island and relax at Onetangi Beach or visit one of Waiheke's many vineyards for a fun day trip or overnight getaway.
PihaPiha, Auckland, New Zealand
Day 3 - 4: Northland and Bay of Islands
Northland is a peaceful place with friendly people and beautiful beaches. Visit Tutukaka to dive the sub-tropical Poor Knights Islands or relax on the pristine sands of Matapouri Bay on the east coast. Paihia is a fantastic place to stay because it is the gateway to the Russell area and is close to all of the major attractions. A boat excursion out to the famed Hole in the Rock is a popular option. Alternatively, rent a kayak and go exploring on your own. Adventurers can jump and land directly on the beach in Paihia.
Bay Of IslandsBay Of Islands, Northland, New Zealand
Day 5 - 6: Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach
Continue north from Paihia, via more beautiful beaches and along a shrinking shard of land, to Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean at New Zealand's highest top. It's not far from here to Ninety Mile Beach, where you can ride quad bikes and blokarts down the beach or sandboard down the massive Te Paki sand dunes. Ahipara is a nice place to spend the night. You'll pass through Waipoua Forest on your way back to Auckland, which is home to the world's largest kauri trees. If you need a break from the road, spend the night at Opononi, then for one last piece of excitement north of Auckland, go snorkeling at Goat Island Marine Reserve.
Cape ReingaCape Reinga, New Zealand
90 Mile Beach90 Mile Beach, Northland, New Zealand
Day 7 - 8: Coromandel Peninsula
For the next few days, we'll be in the Coromandel Peninsula, a popular holiday destination with stunning beaches. Take a fishing boat out on the water from Coromandel Town, or ride your bike around the coast to Whitianga, which is famous for its annual Scallop Festival. Get your swimsuits on and dig your own personal hot pool on the sand at Hot Water Beach the next day, or take a guided kayak tour of Cathedral Cove's spectacularly blue waters. You can also stop by Whangamata and try stand-up paddleboarding if you have the time.
CoromandelCoromandel, New Zealand
Cathedral CoveCathedral Cove, Waikato, New Zealand
Day 9 - 10: Raglan
Spending a couple of days at Raglan, a laid-back surf town, is the ideal way to end your beach vacation. This venue is brimming with creativity and has a relaxed vibe. Hire a surfboard and hit the waves, or spend your time enjoying the lovely coastline surroundings. Manu Bay is known for having the world's largest left-hand break, and it's a terrific place to learn. Ocean Beach, with its black sand, is a quiet area for lunch and a swim, or a stroll to the Pakoka River's Bridal Veil Falls. You'll return to Auckland from Raglan, where your journey will come to a close.