Destinations, New Zealand, Oceania 26

Paradise beaches of Tutukaka Coast – finally achieving the sisters family beach holiday!

Within two weeks upon arriving in New Zealand, we had travelled to the Bay of Island, Northland region and spent an amazing time kayaking, fishing and swimming in turquoise waters and golden beaches. Inspired by our stunning images of the beaches in this part of the country, my sister who lives in Pennsylvania, USA with her hubby and 2 small kids, wanted to go on such a beach holiday with us during their two weeks whirlwind visit to New Zealand. Hard to imagine how time has flown since we started this vacation and now they are gone, left two days ago 🙁


Kayaking at Matapuri Beach


We thought it would be best not to go far, somewhere within 2-3 hour drive from Auckland. The fact that they were travelling with a 2 and 4 year old on a 40 hour plane journey was brave enough, and we didn’t want to pack in another faraway holiday after their already super long journey to get here! We did a little bit of research and decided on Whangerei, Northland region. We had passed it on our way to Kerikeri and Paihia the last time we were here and I had read somewhere that this area was famous for diving and fishing. At that point in time we had no idea about Tutukaka coast and the pristine beaches around here! I was looking forward to diving at Poor Knight’s Island, famous for being one of the top diving spots in the world and the best in New Zealand.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get my refresher’s diving course done as the system didn’t find my original PADI Open Water Diver licence 🙁 Not too surprised as I last dived almost 17 years ago. I am  going to have to do the course all over again whilst here in New Zealand before I can dive again.


We used AirBnB and found a lovely cottage with a private beach that houses 9 people, which just happened to be on the Tutukaka coast. We arrived late afternoon and met the friendly owner who told us about fishing and swimming at the private beach just walking distance from the house. He also adviced us about where else to go over the next few days. It was quite chilly that day, it had rained all day but thankfully had stopped by the time we got there. We went to the beach for a while, met the friendliest (but scarily large) cows and Ashique and Shahaar fished off the rocks.  Rest of us enjoyed the tranquility of the surroundings and having the beach to ourselves!






20150430_170858 Ashique and my brother in law Choppy went night fishing that night as it was low tide at 11pm. They caught several fish within minutes of releasing bait! It was Choppy’s first time fishing and was quite a memorable experience. They even saw a penguin come out of from one of the caves and jump into the water, annoyed at being disturbed by the two of them. They had several large crabs all around them. They caught snappers and gurnards and were quite pleased with themselves for being able to forage for food, hunter gatherer style 🙂


Even though this beach was nice and fishing here amazing, nothing prepared us for the stunning white sand and crystal clear water beaches we got to explore the next few days! I will let the pictures speak for themselves. The weather was sunny with blue skies and no clouds, water was cold so it helped the sun was out. We spent hours snorkelling, swimming, playing in the sand, kayaking and going on short walks around the cliffs. And due to it being low season (or maybe it’s always like this) we had the beaches all to ourselves 🙂

Matauri Bay



The second day we went to Whale Bay beach which is known as somewhat of a ‘secret beach.’ You had to go through a short bush walk to get to the beach. The beach was lovely, not as nice as Matauri in our opinion, but was quite unique being surrounded by giant trees. Fishing off the rocks here is very popular but our second day was a bit cloudy and we didn’t stick around as long as we did the first day at Matauri Bay. We drove to Whangerei and visited the Whangerei falls which was lovely. We had dinner out here at Killer Prawn highly recommend, great food!


Sands Bay Another great beach just few minutes drive from Whale Bay. This beach has been famous for being a surfing beach since the 1960s. We saw several young kids surfing, really made me want to take up surf lessons! There were unique rock formations here and cliffs to explore. We found oyster beds and tried fresh oysters – Ashique did, I didn’t have the guts to do it even though I love oysters.


building sandcastles

building sandcastles




IMG-20150510-WA0012 Despite the fact that I didn’t get to dive this time, we absolutely loved our 4 days in Tutukaka. We found some of the most amazing beaches in this area, and got to see plenty of marine life without diving. We also saw and heard several species of birds. The community in general seemed really friendly, we got to chat with some of the locals whilst doing takeaway from Ngunguru Fish and Chips Takeaway. I definitely look forward to being back after I have my diving certificate again, possibly spring time in October. For now, I am happy my sister and I got to have our ‘beach holiday’ – the kind we used to do with our parents in Thailand when we were young. Since we have always lived in different continents in our adult ‘family’ lives and never close to the sea, we haven’t had a chance to do such a ‘beach bum’ holiday together in a long time. We finally did with four kids in tow and had a blast 🙂


Happy Sisters 🙂

Linked to Natures Notes, Our World TuesdayOutdoor Wednesday and Show Your World

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  • says: May 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    This makes me so nostalgic! I lived in New Zealand for about nine months back in 1998, spending three of those months travelling the length and breadth of that beautiful country. And guess what? I learned to dive in Poor Knights! Fabulous – I definitely recommend it!

    • samselim says: May 11, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      That sounds awesome! We are really enjoying our travels in New Zealand as well, almost 2 months gone and 10 more to go 🙂 Want to get my diving certificate asap so I can dive at Poor Knights too!

  • tanjtrubiano says: May 11, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I miss the sand, sun and beach. New Zealand is quite amazing huh?! 🙂

    • samselim says: May 11, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      We are finding it absolutely stunning!

  • mags says: May 11, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Such gorgeous scenery. I could definitely enjoy a beach weekend here!

  • tinyexpats says: May 12, 2015 at 6:05 am

    You’ve got so many beautiful places around you these days 🙂 If you’d like, you can submit this post to my Show Your World event – round up coming up this Friday

    • samselim says: May 12, 2015 at 9:57 am

      we definitely are spoilt for choice amongst all the beautiful places to travel to in New Zealand 🙂 would love to share this post on show your world events. Will send a ping back, thanks!

  • McCool Travel says: May 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I have not yet visited NZ and appreciate the inside look.

    • samselim says: May 12, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      I hope you get a chance to visit, it is just so beautiful here 🙂

  • betsy says: May 13, 2015 at 12:42 am

    My husband talks of visiting New Zealand, never been but I can see from your gorgeous shots why we should. Just beautiful!

  • connier316 says: May 13, 2015 at 4:17 am

    What a lovely way and place to spend family time. Beautiful.

  • Eileen says: May 13, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Beautiful images from your trip. The beaches are wonderful and your family is beautiful. Have a great day!

  • Kat says: May 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Your photos are amazing! No wonder many people say that NZ is so beautiful…

  • brmsimmons says: May 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    You can’t beat spending time with family and a gorgeous private beach all to yourselves.

  • bettyl - NZ says: May 14, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I’m so glad you are enjoying the beauty of New Zealand! It’s like no other place on earth 🙂

  • ladyfi says: May 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Oh, it looks so beautiful!

  • Arnie says: May 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    It looks like the family had a great time.

  • Elaine J. Masters says: May 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    What a precious time with your sister and families. Memories for the rest of your life. New Zealand is truly incredible.

  • Casual Travelers (@CasualTraveling) says: May 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Looks like you all had a wonderful time! How nice! That’s what I like about vacation rental places – you can get a whole big house for the extended family. You could never do vacations like that in a hotel. So nice of your sister to go all that way to see you! But then again, looking at the photos, I’m not surprised.

  • Molly says: May 15, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I am so envious, this looks absolutely beautiful.


  • […] Join Selim family on their adventure on Tutukaka Coast, New […]

  • Rambling Woods says: May 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I am really enjoying visiting New Zealand with you. Really so much nature to enjoy. The photos are each like picture post cards.. Wonderful…Michelle

  • Jess says: May 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Looks like a great time with family. Love those tide pools!

  • David Stock says: May 27, 2015 at 8:35 am

    New Zealand has so many great beaches, it’s really hard to find a junky one! Some of our favorites on the North Island include Piha Beach, which is known for its black sand and great surfing. Hot Water beach, where at low tide you can dig pools and soak in the volcanic bubbles that come to the surface and Cathedral Cove, where the water is teal and the beaches are bright white.

    • samselim says: May 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

      We loved Piha beach as well! So dramatic and the surfing was amazing to watch. We look forward to heading to coromandel area for some hot water beach action sometime in the near future 🙂

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