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Whangarei Heads and the Tutukaka Coast

NZ Whangarei Heads Mt Manaia

My second full day in Whangarei was primarily spent driving.  In the span of a day I drove into the city centre, down to the Whangarei Heads, back to Tikipunga, out to the Tutukaka Coast, and back to Whangarei.  If you know the area well, you’ll understand how much driving that is.  However, since I stopped so much and took several detours, I can’t even tell you how long it took altogether.  Hours… just hours.

After taking the early morning hours to explore the Town Basin, I filled up the ol’ gas tank and headed out to Whangarei Heads.  This is a beautiful scenic drive with seemingly endless bays and beaches that are Instagram perfection.

NZ Whangarei Heads on the road

Multiple times I felt the need to pull over, pop my trunk open, recline, and enjoy the view.  If I had enough time I would have hiked Mount Manaia, but I was able to enjoy a drive around the base of it.  After several days of driving, I have concluded that New Zealand roads are much more fun to cruise on than any other country (that I’ve driven in).

After 35 or 40 kilometers, the scenic drive came to a dead end at its final beach.  There was a lonesome man sitting on the railing of a lookout above the sand playing guitar barefoot.  He totally got that out of a book.

NZ Tutukaka Whale Bay 1

Later on, I met up with my friend Kara, Whangarei native and my tour guide for the afternoon.  She led me to a scenic drive along the Tutukaka Coast where we lounged with crisp American Pale Ales on the white sands of Whale Bay.  If you go one place in Whangarei, please, please go to the private oasis that is Whale Bay.  I can only imagine how much fun it is to spend summer days basking in the sun and pretending to be a mermaid there.

My evening ended the way most do when chillaxing with friends from Waiheke Island, with an abundance wine and cheese.

Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.