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I love New Zealand and even more so, Ngunguru, which is my home and the surrounding area commonly known as “The Tutukaka Coast.” I live near the scenic Ngunguru estuary surrounded with native bush, birds and wildlife. When it blows I can hear the ocean. Melva, my wife, manages The Riverbank Homestay and B&B.
On realising that there really was little information available in one book about activities for visitors to this coast and the loop road from State Highway one around the coast and returning I set about changing that.
The result is this small A5 - 48 page book. This 70-kilometre loop from Whangarei returning via Hikurangi is one of the most scenic roads in New Zealand and certainly first in beautiful coastline. It doesn’t have the South Island’s mountains, rivers or lakes but what it does have to see and do is different, and very special. Wait until you see Whale Bay or walk some of the stunning coastal or bush tracks. Diving at the Poor Knights Islands is also a must.
Make the Tutukaka Coast your first New Zealand stay-over. It is an easy three hours from Auckland by car or van. There is ample accommodation, so stay longer. New Zealand is a big, little country. You did not plan enough time to see New Zealand anyway so why use it all travelling. You will find plenty of activities and scenery here to write home about.
When telling your friends about your New Zealand vacation you cannot say “Been there” until you have visited Northland and you have not been to Northland until you have been to the Tutukaka Coast, met the people, walked in the bush, strolled on the sandy beaches and kayaked the estuaries. This book is for you if you like bush, beaches, birds, boats and diving. It is all about exploring our natural wonderland.
Why didn’t you know about it? That is the reason for this book. It introduces you to my wonderful playground. There is something here for you in all seasons. Try the winter when the only footprints on the beach may be yours.
I suggest that if you have time, start at page one and try to stay a week or more or plan to come back and continue the adventure.
I know you will enjoy my playground.
By the way, Ngunguru is pronounced Ngoo-ngoo-roo with a nasal ng, equal emphasis on all syllables and roll the r.
The Tutukaka Coast Loop Road is available for NZ$12 from the Whangarei Information Centres, The Salt Air Cafe at Ngunguru and Tutukaka Surf at Tutukaka.
By Hilton Ward
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