Helena Bay, Oakura & Whangaruru

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Yachting at Whangaruru

Take the 'long way round' to the Bay of Islands and you will enjoy a beautiful and isolated coastal paradise including Oakura Beach, Helena Bay and Mimiwhangata Coastal Park

Find the time to breathe and reconnect in this paradise; pods of dolphins and orca are often seen off the coast and in the harbour, hear kiwi birds call at night, feel the sand between your toes, sit under the shade of an ancient tree.

An Extraordinary Treasure - Mimiwhangata Coastal Park

Mimiwhangata Coastal Park has an awesome landscape and shoreline, fringed by a 2000 hectare marine park.  The 850 hectare property is a working farm, with stock excluded from the sensitive sand dunes, wetlands and bush areas.  The Park includes a number of small craggy islands, rock cliffs, pohutukawa and yellow flowering kowhai trees. 

The last few kilometres of road access are narrow and winding and is not suitable for caravans or larger camper vans. Vehicles with trailers should be okay but please drive extremely carefully.

The Park is a permanent home to a number of threatened bird species, including one of the worlds rarest water fowl, the Brown Teal or Pateke.   Amateur fishing and gathering is allowed – check the fishing and shellfish gathering restrictions in the marine park.

Waikahoa Bay Campsite has basic water and toilet facilities but you have to walk, and carry all your gear, the last few hundred metres. DOC also provides other accommodation options including a lodge, cottage and beach house. 

Please leave your dogs at home as they are a threat to the bird population.

Mimiwhangata Walks

Peninsula Loop Walk
This two hour return walk around the headland provides the best of everything; shady beaches, rocky shores, archaelogical sites, farmland, native vegetation and bird life. Signs guide you from the main car park.

Puriri Track
This track starts on the right hand side of the road as you arrive at Mimiwhangata Park. The track leads quite steeply up the side of the valley and once you are near the top of the ridge, there are gorgeous views of the peninsula and out towards the Poor Knights Islands.  You can either make your way back the same way or continue and go down to the coast and back to the car park via the beach.

Surfcasting off the beaten track at Whangaruru
Surfcasting off the beaten track at Whangaruru

Helena Bay

Te Mimiha and Ngawai Bay (Teal Bay) are part of the larger Helena Bay.  There is ample parking, the water is usually calm and flat (although occasionally the surf does get pretty spectacular) and there are plenty of grassed areas to picnic on. Neither of these beaches have stores or camping grounds.

Oakura Bay

Oakura, 45 minutes drive north of Whangarei city, is a popular holiday and weekend destination. Oakura Bay is a beautiful, east facing beach, almost a kilometre long and adjacent to the deep water entrance to the Whangaruru Harbour.  The beach has white sand and generous access from the road. Oakura Bay is sheltered from ocean swells by several outlying islands and provides sheltered swimming for all ages – great for the kids! The general store provides supplies including fuel and food.

For boaties, the boat launching ramp provides the gateway to paradise. Enjoy water skiing in the harbour, explore beautiful secluded bays. Local fishing and diving charters available.

Whangaruru Harbour

Whangaruru is a large harbour with several small communities on its shores. It lies in a remote coastal district and pods of dolphins and orca may be seen off the coast and in the harbour. It is a great place to explore by kayak or boat and is a safe anchorage for passing yachts. Forests are dense and calls of the little brown kiwi can be heard at night.

Whangaruru North Road takes you onto the Whangaruru peninsula and the Puriri Bay Campsite which provides basic camping facilities in paradise. The harbour and isthmus are the historic home of Ngatiwai and the area is dotted with pa sites. Although most are on private land, a pa on the Kirikiri headland has open access.

Parutahi Bay
The charming Parutahi Bay lies just inside the entrance of the Whangaruru Harbour and offers sheltered swimming.

Bland Bay
On the northern shores of the Whangaruru Harbour, there are two beaches of very different character.  A sheltered bay on the harbour side, with an exposed Pacific Ocean surf beach only 400 metres away across a flat isthmus.  A campground bridges this gap between the two beaches.