10 Best Things to Do in Ahipara

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The Activities in Ahipara You Can’t Miss

Situated at the southern end of the famous Ninety Mile Beach and one of Northland‘s best-loved seaside towns, Ahipara is a must-visit for those looking for off-the-beaten-track beach experiences. The town has one of the country’s best surf breaks right on its doorstep, as well as rolling sand dunes and kauri forest. Check out what you could be getting up to in Ahipara in this list of awesome things to do in Ahipara!

1. Surf at Shipwreck Bay

Ahipara is home to some of the best surf breaks in the country. A popular spot is Shipwreck Bay, famous for its consistent left-hand breaks. Another awesome spot is Tauroa Point, however, access is limited and reliant on the tide. Surfboard hire is available in Ahipara with Endless Summer Lodge and NZ Surf Bros. For more North Island surf options, see the 10 Places to Surf on the North Island.

Location: Access is at the end of Wreck Bay Road, Ahipara.©

2. Go Horse Trekking on Ninety Mile Beach

With a wide-open beach and hard-packed sand, Ninety Mile Beach is the ideal horse riding location! Join Ahipara Horse Treks for an awesome beachside trek catered to your ability. Choose from a one to two-hour trek with a mix of beach, rolling green hills and more. Check out more amazing locations to horse ride in our list of the 10 Best Horse Treks in New Zealand.

Location: 11 Foreshore Road, Ahipara.©

3. Discover Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga by Bus

By being located at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach, Ahipara is the perfect base for your Ninety Mile Beach adventure! Either explore the area yourself using our 10 Best Things to Do at Cape Reinga or tours, such as Dune Rider, provides local pick-ups to take you along New Zealand’s sandiest highway and even provides bodyboards for a bit of sandboarding down the dunes if you are keen! Most trips take you all the way up to Cape Reinga so you can check out New Zealand’s northernmost lighthouse, as well as amazing views of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean colliding.

Location: Cape Reinga is approximately 124 km (77 mi) north of Ahipara via State Highway 1. Dune Rider offers pick-ups in Ahipara.©

4. Go Off-Roading on the Beach

Ninety Mile Beach provides awesome terrain for off-road quad biking or e-biking. Explore further with an e-bike or automatic ATV rental with Tuatua Rentals, which offers freedom hire to explore the beach at your leisure. Note that the photo below is not representative of the vehicles available to rent (it’s just our team having a good time out in Ahipara).

Location: 250 Ahipara Road, Ahipara.©

5. Do the “Tuatua Twist”

Ahipara is renowned for its abundance of shellfish (tuatua) available on the beach. At low tide, twist your feet in the sand until you feel the hard edges of the tuatua; and you’ve learned how to do the “tuatua twist”! Either steam them open or cook them into fritters!

Location: Ninety Mile Beach, Ahipara.

6 Best Things to Do in Ahipara© Northland Inc

6. Sample Northland Wines at Waitapu Estate

It’s no surprise that someone has taken advantage of the subtropical climate of Ahipara for winemaking. Waitapu Estate is Ahipara’s very own winery specialising in syrah, pinotage and more from their biodiversity-focussed vineyard. The cellar door is open on weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 5 pm. Add it to your winery must-do list, along with the 10 Best Winery Tours in New Zealand.

Location: 111 Masters Access Road, Ahipara.

6 Best Things to Do in Ahipara©

7. Play Golf in Paradise

New Zealand is renowned for its picturesque golf courses, and Kaitaia Golf Club (actually in Ahipara) is no different! Play 9 or 18 holes at this reasonably-priced course which is open to visitors. Play a round to sensational views of the coast and the Tasman Sea. For more golf clubs to discover around the country, check out the 20 Best Golf Courses in New Zealand.

Location: Takahe Road, Ahipara.

6 Best Things to Do in Ahipara©

8. Walk Around Lake Ngatu

Although Northland’s beaches tend to take all the limelight, a welcome change of scenery is the charming lake walk at Lake Ngatu. This freshwater dune lake hosts a family-friendly 4 km (2.5-mi) loop walk that takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Location: Approximately 1.9 km (1.3 mi) along West Coast Road, around 28.5 km (17.7 mi) north of Ahipara.

6 Best Things to Do in Ahipara© Department of Conservation

9. Check Out Maori Art at the Te Whare Whiri Toi Gallery

Set within the grounds of the Roma Marae, Te Whare Whiri Toi is an art gallery known for its flax-woven art. Marvel at the traditional clothing and Māori paintings and even take part in one of the gallery’s workshops. The gallery is open in summer, Wednesdays to Sundays.

Location: Roma Road (off Foreshore Road), Ahipara.

Northland Inc© Northland Inc

10. Visit Kaitaia and the Te Ahu Centre

Finally, the neighbouring town of Kaitaia is well worth a visit, especially for its museum, cafe, cinema and information centre, the Te Ahu Centre. Learn about the history of the Far North and its “seven people” including the five local Māori tribes, the Dalmatians and Europeans. See historic artefacts and be wowed by the interactive displays. For more experiences, check out the 10 Best Things to Do in Kaitaia.

Location: Corner of State Highway One and Matthews Avenue, Kaitaia, approximately 13.5 km (8 mi) northeast of Ahipara.

6 Best Things to Do in Ahipara© David Kirkland - Northland Inc

[CLOSED] Walk the Herekino Forest Track

Delve into the wild and wonderful Herekino Forest along the 15km (9 miles) Herekino Forest Track. This 9-hour one-way hike will take you to various stands of kauri in this fascinating environment home to North Island brown kiwi, kauri snail, long-tailed bat and more. It’s possible to also link this hike with the Kaitaia Walkway (1h30min) which end on Lamer Road outside of Kaitaia.

Location: Start from Awaroa Road at Te Arai.

More Things to Do Near Ahipara

That’s it for our list of things to do in Ahipara. While Ahipara is a great destination in itself, don’t miss the opportunity to visit these nearby towns:

Finally, for more activities on your travels, check out the 50 Best Things to Do in the North Island.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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