Alexandra Explores the Beautiful Tutukaka Coast - Northland

new zealand pool

I am Alexandra, one of First Light Travel’s interns. We decided to explore the beautiful Northland area just North of Auckland. Coming from Switzerland, I know all about majestic mountains and glaciers. therefore I wanted to experience something else New Zealand has to offer. Our weekend trip took us North to Whangarei and Matapouri where we discovered some amazing coastline, beaches and even a hidden mermaid pool.

Whangarei heads

My friends and I decided to rent a car and just explore the region up North of Auckland. We made our way to Whangarei where we had our first stop at the Whangarei falls. The Whangarei falls are definitely worth a stop but don’t plan on spending too much time there. The walk to the falls and back to the car park only takes about 30 minutes – but certainly worth it.. Before leaving Auckland, we were told to climb the Whangarei heads because of the stunning views from up there. So we did and it was definitely worth it. The walk itself takes about two hours up and only about 30 minutes down, but tackling the stairs and grunting all the way to the top of the i heads were 100% worth the effort. - The views from up there were just breath-taking.


After walking down the Whangarei heads, we decided that it is time to find our way to Ngunguru, where we stayed in an Airbnb for the night. On our second day we wanted to find the hidden ‘Mermaid Pools’ close to Matapouri. Arriving at the beach in Matapouri, all three of us were just amazed by the natural pristine beauty. Matapouri is probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to in New Zealand.

whale Bay

Because you can only walk to the mermaid pools at low tide, we did not spend too much time on the beach in and  started our walk right away. Walking all the way to the end of the beach, there is a small path which leads you up a hill and down to the Mermaid Pools.

 Because the water was a little bit rough that day, we did not end up going for swim but on a nice summer day, you can also swim in the pools until your hearts content. To finish our trip we did the coastal walk from Matapouri to Whale Bay. The walk is about half an hour and is full of amazing view points and stunning scenery. Once at  Whale Bay we went for a swim and enjoyed the nice summer breeze before heading back to Matapouri and then back to Auckland.

Green Green Green

All in all we were pleasantly surprised at the tranquility and lack of  people, considering we were only a couple of ours outside of Auckland. I would highly recommending  exploring the Tutukaka coast, especially those wanting to get away from the crowds and those that  are beach lovers – you would be hard pressed to beat these beachs!


Alexandra Suter
: 26 Jul 2017 (Last updated: 29 May 2018)

Download Our Free NZ Travel Guide

Get our free guide which is full of actionable tips and information about how to make the most of your time in New Zealand.

Blog archives

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price