Swim at the beach, kayak up a river, explore a native forest headland or camp overnight in a seaside regional park just north of Auckland.
The long, sandy, tranquil beach and shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore are the main attractions for visitors to the Wenderholm Regional Park.
There are also native forest walks that climb the park's headland which lies between the Waiwera and Puhoi Rivers. Hikers are rewarded with long range views up the Puhoi River valley and out across the sea to the distant islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Rare North Island robins have been successfully released into the forest areas of the park - look for them while you're out walking.You can kayak up the river through mangroves and native trees to a wharf near the historic Bohemian immigrant town of Puhoi.
This settlement was populated from 1863 by hardy gum (kauri amber) diggers, who probed the swampy areas with long spikes and dug deep to retrieve their reward. Synchronising the direction of your river journey with the tidal flows can make this a very relaxing paddle.
A tent camping site at the Wenderholm Park includes the basic necessities, and there are a few spaces allocated for motor homes. Camping permits need to be obtained by contacting the Auckland Regional Council. The Wenderholm Regional Park is about 35 minutes drive up the east coast north of Auckland. Find other camping spots in Auckland (opens in new window)here.