Boulders on beach, Matai Bay, Northland

The picturesque Karikari Peninsula extends into the subtropical Pacific Ocean from Northland’s northeastern coast, and contains a variety of diverse and interesting landscapes. Much of the peninsula is formed from coastal sand deposits, linking together isolated outcrops of volcanic rock that were once offshore islands. These volcanic outcrops are still evident today, forming isolated steep hills and rocky headlands that separate the peninsula’s numerous sandy beaches and coves. The low-lying interior of the peninsula, on the other hand, hosts several wetland areas that are nationally significant for their conservation values.

Matai Bay lies near the northern end of Karikari Peninsula and comprises two crescentic coves, Ohungahunga Bay and Waikato Bay, separated by rocky Joliffe Point. Matai Bay is a stunning holiday destination offering safe swimming, good fishing and a spacious public campground located just behind the beach at Ohungahunga Bay. The campground is on Maori-owned land, and, thanks to an ongoing management arrangement between the local iwi and the Department of Conservation, public access is assured — allowing visitors to enjoy a relaxed, classic Kiwi holiday experience in a special place that is likely to remain beyond the reach of coastal property developers for many years to come.

Westerly storm, Muriwai gannet colony

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

Te Werahi Beach, Cape Reinga

Sunrise at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

Beach face, Spirits Bay

Surf, Pukehina Beach

View from Lion Rock, Piha Beach

Matai Bay, Northland

Young Nick's Head, Gisborne

Whale Bay, Tutukaka Coast

Breaking wave, Tongaporutu

Sunrise, Lang's Beach, Northland

Shore platform, Mahia Peninsula

Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Shore platform, Whakataki Beach

Pingao on dunes, 90 Mile Beach

"Three Sisters", Tongaporutu