Tutukaka Family Holiday Itinerary


The Tutukaka Coastline encompasses everything you could ever want in a summer family holiday. Endless white beaches that are tucked inside sheltered coves, tropical water temperatures, shady native forests and short walking trails with epic views. All within a 2.5 hour drive from Auckland. So why wouldn’t you go? Here’s a few ideas to make the most of a long weekend.


Boogie Boarding and Bombs at Matapouri

Boogie boarding is the most underrated pastime. Most kiwis can remember spending hours playing in the waves, getting bowled over in the shoreline, and thrashing their trusty foam board when they were a child. So why not take your kids to do the same? All of the pastime magic is on offer at Matapouri, with a super sheltered bay and small waves. Watch the kids squeal with excitement as turquoise water provides the ride of a lifetime. Pack a picnic, enjoy a few gritty sandwiches and grab a fast-melting ice-cream from the Matapouri Bay Store.

Great rock pools are found at both ends of the beach, so take a bucket and hunt for some sea creatures. You can also walk over to Whale Bay which has a beach only accessible by foot or boat. It’s an easy walk which should be manageable for children of all ages, so why not visit both beaches in a day?

Matapouri, Tutukaka


The Perfect Day boat cruise – Sun, Sea and Exploration

The Tutukaka township is gateway to the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, full of sealife, marine caves and inquisitive dolphin and orca. The Perfect Day is a non-diving trip suitable for the whole family, with sight-seeing, kayaking, cave exploration, swimming and even a few cheeky bombs off the side of the boat. Your equipment, lunch and all activities are included. What’s more, our family rate means a second child travels for free.


Geocaching and Rock-Hunting on the Tutukaka Coast

The colourful new craze of rock-hunting is spreading throughout the country like wildfire. Hand-painted rocks of all shapes and sizes are hidden and found across new Zealand, including along the Tutukaka Coastal Walkways. This creative and cost-effective treasure hunt is a great way to get your family active in the outdoors, and we’ve no doubt you’ll get caught up in the thrill of a find. Check out the Whangarei Rocks Group on Facebook to find which trails and parks to explore, and be sure to hide a few painted rocks of your own.

Likewise, the geocaching phenomenon has made its mark on Tutukaka, with hundreds of caches distributed around this beautiful coastline. Simply download the free geocaching app and start searching: don’t forget to bring a pen (for your kids to sign their names in the cache logs) and a range of small treasures to swap with the caches. Guaranteed to get the most exercise-phobic kid moving.

Matapouri, Tutukaka Coast


Watersports and Walkways in Ngunguru

Ngunguru is the watersport capital of the coast, attributed to the combination of surf beaches, estuary and mangroves to explore. Take the family kayaking on the Ngunguru River, exploring the mangroves, tidal channels, forests and sandspits. Learn about the local birdlife and discover what lives beneath the surface. Guided options are available or rent your own gear from the village. Ngunguru is also popular for fishing, surfing, boating and water-skiing so make sure you load up the car with toys before leaving home.

For an easy walk with the kids try the Ngunguru Mangrove Walkway between Munroe Places and Kakariki Road. Afterwards, grab a snack at Salt Air Café or the Ngunguru Takeaway shop and eat A la carte by the seaside.

Tip: There aren’t many playgrounds in the Tutukaka area but there’s a fully fenced one in Ngunguru with a good range of equipment and a shade sail.


Food & Festivities

In the summer months from October to March you can grab a bite at the Tutukaka Twilight Market on Saturday nights. Located at the Northern end of the Tutukaka Green, this summer market features Northland artists, artisans, musicians, service providers and curators. Alternatively, grab a pizza at the Marina Pizza Bar & Grill. It’ll be an easy win with the kids while you enjoy a glass of wine on their covered deck overlooking the water.  Bliss!

Come stay with us

  • We spent two nights at Lodge 9 and it was an absolutely beautiful place to stay after diving in the Poor Knights Marine Reserve. The Lodge is gorgeous, trendy, eco friendly, and such a great space to relax with friends.

    Rach S - TripAdvisor

  • Kate was a warm and welcoming host. The Lodge9 is a fabulous place modern, spacious beautifully decorated. Such a pleasure to have stayed there, fabulous pool and outdoor setup too.

    Melissa I - TripAdvisor

  • This place is just wonderful! The room and living area were beautifully set out and had an amazing aesthetic...The outdoor area and pool were amazing. I had organized to propose to my now-fiance while I was there and the whole team were fully supportive and helped me with organising everything.

    Billy C - TripAdvisor


Mornings are made for slow sips and meaningful bites.

Photo Credit to @jayclue @paditravel #tutukakasouthpacific #tutukaka #lodgenine #lodge9 #tutukakacoast #tutukakacoastnz #tutukakanz
"Felt like a cross between a hotel and my best friend's bach."

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Photo Credit to @jayclue @paditravel
Is there a secret valley in Tutukaka? 
Sure is. 

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Credit Jay Clue
Eggy muffins, keto and delicious.
Power house start to a relaxed day in Tūtūkākā.
This way……
Nothing like a Tutukaka sunrise.
Back for breakfast and your day starts in a whole new way. ☀️Another local beach to make your heart go mmmmmmmm
Overnight oats. Gluten free and dairy free energy goodness.
Chill tropical vibe.
It’s how we roll. 🧡 
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Happy Easter!! 🐇🐇