The picturesque Karikari Peninsula extends into the subtropical Pacific Ocean from Northlands 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 peninsulas 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.