Family adventures in Paihia and Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga is the northwestern most tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. Right at the point where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet. From where the lighthouse is perched, you can actually see the point where the two seas meet and their waves crash into each other.
From Auckland to Cape Reinga there is so many places to experience on the way, one of them being Paihia, an excellent base from which to explore the Bay of Islands. It has an extensive choice of accommodation, delicious dining options and a good-sized town centre. From the wharf you can arrange fantastic excursions that will provide you with the best adventures and experiences.
So what's there to do in and around these locations?
Pakiri Beach is the perfect location that you can explore on your way up to Cape Reinga/Paihia. Pakiri is a secluded beach with beautiful surroundings and white sand this was one of our top beaches we explored in New Zealand and would definitely go back. Parking is free and we even discovered a water slide! If you take a walk at the back of the beach you will come across a slide for the whole family to enjoy.
Tawharanui Regional Park
This Regional Park is New Zealands best kept secrets, just 1hr 15minutes North from Auckland, another great location to experience when heading up North. The Tawharanui Regional Park covers the end of a peninsula that extends into the Pacific Ocean just north of Kawau Island. The long, sandy beach on the northern side is considered to be one of the best swimming and surfing venues in the Auckland region. There are grassed areas above the beach furnished with shady pohutukawa trees - a picnic paradise.
Another fantastic location to add to your adventure. Whangarei Falls is located in Whangarei Scenic Reserve. The classic curtain waterfall is part of the Hatea River and one of the most popular swimming spot in the area. Easy access and a well-maintained Scenic Reserve make this waterfall one of New Zealand Must See Waterfalls. With only a 10 minute walk down to the bottom it is perfect for a lovely family adventure.
Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands located between Auckland and Cape Reinga. It’s known as a gateway to the dive sites and sandy beaches of the Bay of Islands.
Paihia has an extensive choice of accommodation, delicious dining options and a good-sized town centre. From the wharf you can arrange fantastic excursions that will provide you with the best adventures and experiences. One of them being a trip to Cape Reinga...
On a Cape Reinga tour one of the stops is to see the iconic lighthouse located at the tip of Cape Reinga. Although the lighthouse is not open to the public, it is a common New Zealand icon and a popular tourist destination. It provides outstanding panoramic views and you can actually see the point where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet and their waves crash into each other.
Another destination on the tour is the Puketi Kauri Forest. The trail is beautiful, green, lush, and scenic. You'll hear native birds like the New Zealand fantail as you walk through the towering trees. You will learned a lot from the guide about the importance of the kauri trees to the Maori people, and about their culture/beliefs as well.
For those who are seeking thrill and something different, the next stop is Te Paki Sand Dunes. This is the perfect adventurous activity, it is exhilarating and very fast. Charlie loved sand surfing as it was something he never experienced before and it was very hard to get him to leave for the next location. You can hire out sand boards if you are not with a tour, however if you are with a tour they will provide you with boards for free.
The last stop is Ninety Mile Beach. This beach is known for its spectacular sunsets and has the best left hand surf breaks in the world. It's a never ending paradise. This beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. However, rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch the Cape Reinga coach tour.
Let us know in the comments below if you are heading to New Zealand next and what you are looking forward to do the most.