Ninety Mile Beach (Te Oneroa-a-Tohe in Maori) is one of New Zealand's most popular destinations for both local and international travellers. Known for it's desert-like views and vast sand dunes, it's a great example of the untouched beauty of New Zealand landscapes.
Located on the western coast of the North Island of New Zealand, Ninety Mile Beach stretches from just west of Kaitaia towards Cape Reinga along the Aupouri Peninsula. It begins close to the headland of Reef Point to the west of Ahipara Bay, and ends at Scott Point, five kms south of Cape Maria van Diemen. To find out more about Ninety Mile Beach and its attractions, read on!
Ninety Mile Beach trivia
Despite its name, Ninety Mile Beach is actually 55 miles (88km) long. While it is officially a highway in New Zealand, it is only suitable for 4WD vehicles, and local rental companies will not allow cars on the sand due to safety concerns. Another little-known fact is that the beach was also used as the runway for some of the earliest airmail services between Australia and New Zealand back in 1932!
Ninety Mile Beach is conveniently located near to a number of other popular New Zealand destinations including Kaitaia, Cape Reinga and Paihia.
The nearby town of Ahipara is a pickup point for Cape Reinga tours - or you can hire a rental car and explore the entire region, including the countless beaches along both the eastern and western coastlines.
Visit Aupouri Forest
Ninety Mile Beach runs alongside Aupouri Forest - a beautiful example of native New Zealand flora, and a great place to rest away from the sun.
Try digging for TuaTuas and Pipis
TuaTua and Pipi are native New Zealand shellfish that can be found in the sand at low tide. Give them a try - they're considered a delicacy by many Kiwis!
Boarding down the sand dunes
For those with an adventurous spirit, there are plenty of opportunities for body boarding down the sand dunes. It's a lot of fun - just remember to keep your eyes closed and follow the lead of someone experienced!
The Snapper Classic fishing competition
This fishing competition takes place towards the end of summer each year. Running for five days, it attracts hundreds of surf casters who hope to catch the biggest snapper.
Go Quad Biking in the sand dunes
Hire quad bikes for a ride around the sand dunes - another fun way to explore this stretch of beach.
Te Houtaewa Challenge - The Ninety Mile Beach Run
The Te Houtaewa Challenge has been running for over 21 years and is one of the most challenging beach races in New Zealand. Choose from different options to suit your ability level; a 6 km walk, a relay, an 'ultra marathon', a marathon, a half marathon, or ride the distance by bike.
Ninety Mile Beach accommodation
You'll find comfortable camping grounds, bed and breakfasts and hotels in both Ahipara and Kaitaia. Whether you choose a budget-friendly option or something boutique, the friendly locals and stunning New Zealand landscape will make your holiday one to remember.
Swimming and Surfing
Ninety Mile Beach is safe for swimming, especially at the calmer points. If you're a keen surfer, try visiting Tauroa Point - it's known to be one of the best left-hand surf breaks in the world!
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why so many people and their families travel to this beautiful destination in the summer months. And despite being a popular tourist destination, the upper north of the North Island of New Zealand is largely untouched - with plenty of secret beaches, stunning views and forests to explore.
For your next holiday, visit Ninety Mile Beach and book your accommodation at the best New Zealand camping grounds.