Less than an hour’s drive from Ahipara takes you to the beautiful east coast beaches of Doubtless Bay; walk on the golden sands of these often empty beaches. Visit the Carrington Estate Winery and restaurant or play a game of golf at Carrington Golf Course on the Karikari Peninsula. Visit the historic fishing village of Mangonui, enjoy the harbourside walk and shops, climb up to the Rangikapiti Pa to see the outstanding views or hire a kayak to explore the harbour. But whatever you do, don’t miss a meal at the world-famous Mangonui fish shop.
The Hokianga Harbour
The Hokianga is a 1.5-hour drive south of Ahipara. You can enjoy a day trip around the area by using the Hokianga Vehicle Ferry between Kohukohu and Rawene (departs hourly). Visit the old harbourside fishing villages of Kohukohu and Rawene where you can eat in quaint cafés looking over the harbour, enjoy local galleries and wander around the historic buildings. Pay tribute to the statue of Opo the dolphin in Opononi while taking in the majestic views of the sand dunes across the harbour. Then visit the giant kauri trees in Waipoua Forest and in particular Tane Mahuta - the largest kauri tree in NZ.
Alternatively you can explore the less-travelled roads of the northern Hokianga where sand dunes meet the forests. Ahipara is the ideal location for exploring this stunning area.