5 Kick-Ass Things to Do in Kaitaia
Kaitaia activities you can’t miss!
Often described as “The Capital of the Far North” Kaitaia is an essential pitstop for any Northland road trip! Not only is the town full of fascinating Maori, European and even Dalmatian history, it is also the main service centre of the Far North area. Banks, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, medical centres, sports facilities, police stations, supermarkets, accommodation and the northernmost McDonald’s in New Zealand, Kaitaia has you covered for all your needs! Nevertheless, there’s much more to do than stock up on food, so take a look at the list below of the things to do in Kaitaia!
Don’t forget to explore Kaitaia’s surrounding destinations:
1. Visit the Te Ahu Centre
A museum, cafe, cinema and information centre all rolled into one magnificent building, the Te Ahu Centre is a must-do in Kaitaia. Learn about the history of the Far North and its “seven people” including the five local Maori tribes, the Dalmatian and Europeans. See historic artefacts and be wowed by the interactive displays.
Location: Corner of State Highway One and Matthews Avenue.
2. Take a bus tour to Ninety Mile Beach & Cape Reinga
The long-stretching sands of Ninety Mile Beach and the northern tip of New Zealand at Cape Reinga are on most travellers’ Northland bucket lists! Tackle both sights in one bus tour where you’ll experience Ninety Mile Beach as a highway, see the glorious Cape Reinga Lighthouse, and even do some sand dune boarding if you’re up for it!
Location: Harrisons Cape Runner, Sand Safaris, Far Nor Outback Adventures and Dune Rider Tours all do pick-ups from Kaitaia.
3. Hike the Kaitaia Walkway
The Kaitaia Walkway takes you to amazing stands of kauri trees on a walk with sections suitable for both families and hardy trampers alike! The first part of the Kaitaia Walkway is a 20-minute return walk to a kauri grove, which is the easiest option. There’s the slightly more demanding 15-minute return track option taking you to a lookout. Alternatively, there is the 1h30min return tramping route taking you high onto a saddle for more amazing views as you hike across Diggers Valley.
Location: 3km south of Kaitaia. Start the hike from the car park at the end of Larmer Road.
4. Take a trip to Awanui
Relics and stories of the kauri logging and gumdigging days are best told in the town of Awanui, just a short drive from Kaitaia. Visit the Ancient Kauri Kingdom with kauri artwork for sale, as well as the 50-tonne kauri log with an internal staircase! Travel about 13km north of Awanui and you’ll find the Gumdiggers Park with a highlight being an ancient buried kauri forest!
Location: 8.4km north of Kaitai on State Highway 1. The Gumdiggers Park is a further 13km up State Highway 1, down Heath Road.
5. Play golf
New Zealand is renowned for its picturesque golf courses, and Kaitaia Golf Club 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. The golf course is located in Ahipara. For more things to do while you’re in the area, check out 6 Awesome Things to Do in Ahipara.
Location: 15km east of Kaitaia in Ahipara. The golf course is at the end of Takahe Road, Ahipara.