Orewa Activities and Attractions You Can’t Miss!
Just 25 minutes north from Auckland city, the stunning beachside boutique town of Orewa is the perfect place stop when making your way between Auckland and sunny Northland. The town is packed with shops and cafes making it a great spot to relax, do some boutique shopping, and dine al fresco at one of the many cafes. What’s more, you’ll find most facilities you’ll need for a road trip north, as Orewa has free high-speed wifi throughout the town, as well as picnic tables, toilets, beach showers and more.
There’s definitely something for everyone – families, solo travellers, teens and couples – in this list of things to do in Orewa
1. Relax on Orewa Beach
Let’s start with the most obvious thing to do when you arrive in Orewa; go to Orewa Beach! The 3km long pristine beach is lined with regal Norfolk Pines which were planted by the father of the world-famous mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. It’s one of the safest swimming beaches in the Auckland region so is the perfect playground whether your plan is to go for a dip, a stroll, a picnic or head out windsurfing or, paddle boarding.
2. Discover the Restaurant Scene
For a small boutique town, the hospitality scene is thriving and diverse. In fact, there are more than 52 eateries which are all locally owned and operated! Whether it’s ice cream, coffee and cake, or fine dining, Orewa has cafes and restaurants to suit all styles and tastes. Check out some of the delightful cafes on the Orewa Beach website.
3. Enjoy Some Boutique Shopping
Orewa has a fantastic boutique shopping scene with clothing, sports and accessory shops offering everything from beachwear to activewear to formal wear – who needs to go to Auckland Central? What’s more, those who love a bargain, upcycling or vintage style will love the six popular and bustling secondhand clothing and opportunity (op) shops in Orewa. Check out the shops’ addresses and opening hours on the Orewa Beach website
4. Walk or Cycle the Orewa Estuary (Te Ara Tahuna Walk and Cycleway)
One of the most popular walking/biking trails in the Orewa area is the Te Ara Tahuna Walk and Cycleway following the edge of the Orewa estuary. The whole trail is 7.7km long, is fully sealed and ideal for all levels of fitness. There are bikes available to rent from the two local bike shops in town. Additionally, there are more than 20 signposted and picturesque walkways from Orewa to the far end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Maps and walkway descriptions can be found in the Orewa Beach Brochure here.
5. Take on Some Watersports
Orewa Beach is the ideal beach for watersports all year round. You’ll find the shores bustling with swimmers and beachgoers in summer, while watersports fanatics harness the elements in the cooler months. Whether you prefer a peaceful kayaking or paddleboarding trip on the estuary or high-energy high-speed kitesurfing experience, there’s something to suit all water-lovers. Speaking of paddleboarding, for information on more paddleboarding experiences throughout the country, see our 10 Best Places to SUP in New Zealand.
6. Check Out the Art Galleries
Get inspired at the two art galleries of Orewa. The Estuary Arts Centre hosts regular exhibitions from world-class artists of all genres, as well as art, pottery, mosaic and 3D art classes. You might also want to take advantage of their cafe and gift shop. Another option is the Marshall Gallery, which incorporates a stunning art gallery and boutique homeware store. For those wanting to expand their Art excursion, drive 25 minutes to galleries and sculpture trails in Warkworth and Snells Beach and up to Matakana
7. Be Spoilt in Boutique Accommodation
Once you arrive in Orewa, you can’t help but want to stay for longer. There is a selection of motels, lodges and backpackers within a five-minute walk of the town centre and beach. Plus, Orewa has an ever-increasing number of holiday homes and Airbnb options, many with sea views and within easy reach of facilities and services. For instance, the Nautilus Ramada provides a one-stop holiday option in the heart of the town and has multiple facilities such as a pool, gymnasium and uninterrupted ocean views. The Orewa Beach Holiday Park is absolute beachfront with fabulous cabins and glamping tents. Check out more accommodation options on the Orewa Airbnb page (and don’t forget your free $50 Airbnb credit on us)!
8. Check Out the Orewa Markets and Events
Being flat and beside a stunning beach, Orewa is the perfect location for events and markets – of which there are many to choose from year-round. The town has a comprehensive schedule of free community events from November to April offering fun for all ages and cultures. Regular year-round markets feature local stallholders showcasing locally made crafts, clothes, gifts and produce. Markets include the weekly farmers market on Sundays, 8am to 12.30pm, and the Orewa Artisan Market on the second and last Sunday of each month from 8.30am to 1pm.
9. Visit the Shakespear and Wenderholm Regional Parks
Situated at the farthest tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Shakespear Regional Park has a number of walking trails taking you through bushland and rolling meadows up to sheltered bays and clifftop lookouts. The park offers sweeping views across the coast and the Hauraki Gulf. Alternatively, Wenderholm Regional Park sits at the mouth of the picturesque Puhoi River surrounded by forested headlands. Stroll through hectares of greenery surrounded by beaches, scenery, walkways and stunning views or relax, paddle, kayak, swim, snorkel or SUP – there’s ample space for everyone. Note that all regional parks are designated as sanctuaries for wildlife, so no fishing is permitted.
10. Go on an Amazing Day Trip
There are multiple day trip opportunities well within an hour’s easy drive of Orewa, including golfing at Gulf Harbour, sculpture trails, wine trails, hiking in regional parks, cycling, indoor skiing and more! One of our favourite types of day trips is catching the Fullers ferry across the Hauraki Gulf to the islands of Tiritiri Matangi for birds and flora and fauna, Kawau Island for history and crystal clear waters, Waiheke Island for wine trails and stunning beaches, or challenge yourself and climb the largest of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones – the majestic Rangitoto Island. Find out more about these islands in our The 10 Best Islands in Auckland to Visit. If you prefer to stick to dry land, take a 45-minute road trip to the west coast to the black sand surf beaches of Muriwai, and Piha and many more as listed in Where to Find Black Sand Beaches in Auckland.