Bream Bay & Waipu

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Waipu Cove Store. Photo by Virginia Guy

From Langs Beach in the south to Marsden Point to the north, Bream Bay is 22 kilometres of golden sand and clear blue waters, along with picturesque rural scenery, estuaries, rare wild life refuges, native forest, coastal walks and small friendly communities. Fish, swim, surf, dine, shop – or just take time out to enjoy and relax.

Local's Tips

THE GUARDIANS The kaitiaki (traditional guardians) of Bream Bay is the Patuharekeke iwi (tribe) whose ancestral lands cover the whole area. They were joined in 1817, by settlers of Scottish heritage who journeyed from the other side of the world to find a home.

Bream Bay / Waipu

Bream Bay’s spectacular giant arc of white sand and clear water spans from Langs Beach in the south to Marsden Point to the north with pristine estuaries, wildlife refuges, native bush, rural scenery, small friendly communities - fish, swim, surf, kayak, cave, culture,history, markets and more.

Waipu Village

Waipu village is rich in Scottish heritage, and boasts a great selection of local art, crafts, markets and cafes. The Waipu Highland Games, the oldest running highland event in the southern hemisphere, are held every New Year’s Day. People come from around the world to dance and compete in traditional Celtic challenges. If you fancy your skills at Scottish Country Dancing nights held in the Coronation Hall, you will be welcomed!

In July, the village hosts Waipu n Tartan, featuring a full and varied calendar of Scottish events.

Waipu Museum

Waipu Museum tells the amazing story of one of the world’s greatest migrations; the Scottish Highlanders who travelled to Nova Scotia, Australia and then on to Waipu is told through interactive museum displays and old world collections. Heritage trails are run from the museum and take in historic sites such as Norman McLeod’s house, the Church, the Caledonian Park and the Blacksmiths.

Markets

The Waipu Saturday Market is held on the first Saturday of the month and the Waipu Boutique Sunday Market is held every second Sunday of the month. Over long weekends, enjoy the Street Market on Saturday and the Waipu Antiques & Collectables Fair on Sunday. Marsden Cove Market is held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Marina.

Enjoy a round at the stunning

Waipu Golf Club

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Waipu Cycle / Walkway

A 2.5 kilometre cycle and walkway from Waipu Village to Riverview Place with the remaining 5.5 km to Waipu Cove able to be ridden on the road.

Waipu Cove

This beautiful white sand beach is popular for swimming, surfing and fishing. A river bordering the south end of the beach is a sheltered swimming spot. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards over summer. There is a campground, picnic areas, convenience store and cafe.

Langs Beach

A stunning white sandy beach framed by craggy headlands, gnarly trees and wonderful views to offshore islands and craggy headlands. This is an excellent spot for swimming, surfing and bodysurfing, or for a relaxing shoreline stroll.

Surf Lifesaving

The Waipu Cove Surf Life Saving Club patrols the beach for the extended summer period as well as hosting beach education days and surf life saving competitions throughout the year.

Waipu Caves

These impressive limestone caves have stalactites, stalagmites and glowworms near the entrance. There is lots of headroom in the 175 metre long main cavern. The Waipu Cave system is considered regionally important for geomorphology because it includes the largest cave passage in Northland. Bones of bats, birds, amphibians and reptiles may be found along with the remains of fossil invertebrates. Stalactites hang from the ceiling and just to the left of the entrance is an enormous stalagmite - one of the largest in New Zealand.  Appropriate safety gear is essential. Entry is unguided and at your own risk.

Wildlife Refuges

The pristine waters of the Ruakaka and Waipu estuaries provide a unique habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest birds. Among the species which feed and breed here are the critically endangered Tara-iti / New Zealand fairy tern. Birdwatchers may also see wrybill, reef heron and banded dotterel. Migrating godwits can also be seen at certain times of the year. Find out more about the fairy tern here.

Piroa Falls

A short ten minute track through forest and over the Ahuroa River leads to the petite Piroa Falls with swimming holes along the way and at the base of the falls. Directions are signposted from SH1 just south of Waipu.

Brynderwyn Hills Walk

The Brynderwyn Hills Walk is 12 kms one way and follows the top of the mountain range with fantastic coastal and inland views. The ranges are host to many native bird species as well as the rare hotchstetter frog. The track winds through private farm land and forestry roads.

Offshore Islands

The islands that can be seen from shore are Taranga and Marotiri or, the Hen & Chicks. They are the remains of long dormant volcanoes, once part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and are now a wildlife sanctuary. Landing on the islands is prohibited without a permit. The landmark of Sail Rock lies just to the south and is a common mark used for yacht racing.