1 / 3
Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 88 kilometres long.
This beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. Rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia. If you are short of time in Northland and staying in the Bay of Islands, coach tours and scenic flights up to Cape Reinga depart from Paihia daily.
Beach activities range from surfcasting and swimming to bodyboarding down the sand dunes. A special treat is digging for tuatua (a native shellfish) in the sand at low tide. Flanking the beach is the Aupouri Forest, which provides a green escape from the hot sun.
Once a year in late February or early March, 90 Mile Beach hosts a five day fishing competition. Hundreds of anglers surf cast from the beach hoping to catch the biggest snapper, a delicious white-flesh fish found in New Zealand waters.