Ninety Mile Beach is located on the far northwestern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It spans from just west of Kaitaia, near the headland of Reef Point, towards Cape Reigna along the Aupouri Peninsula before terminating five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen.
Despite its name, the beach actually stretches for 88 kilometres, which is around 55 miles. The beach is a very popular tourist destination, serving as an attraction for a variety of different activities and drawing many visitors each year.
What to Do – Ninety Mile Beach
As you might expect from a beach that stretches 88 kilometres, there are a variety of beach related attractions and activities found on Ninety-Mile Beach.
Ranging from surfcasting to swimming to body boarding down the giant dunes that line the coastline, Ninety Mile Beach is a coastal recreation haven.
In addition to all the water and sand based beach activities, Ninety Mile Beach is a great fishing spot. Each year, in late February or early March, the beach hosts a five day angling competition.
Hundreds of anglers from all over the world flock to Ninety Mile Beach, hoping to catch the largest snapper and the bragging rights that come with it. The beach is also a great place to go digging for tuatua, a native shellfish, which can be found in great numbers in the sand during low tide.
In addition to outdoor recreation, the beach also serves as an official highway. However, it is only really suitable for 4WD vehicles. Additionally, most rental agencies will not allow their cars to be driven on the sand, largely for safety reasons.
The easiest way to enjoy the, “highway,” from a vehicle is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia. Enthusiasts of the popular television program Top Gear might recognize Ninety Mile Beach as it was featured on the show when during a challenge when a car raced a yacht from one end of the beach to the other.
The beach has also been the site of many shipwrecks over the years.
A large number of these wrecks are still visible from the coast during low tide.
These wrecks make for interesting viewing for those strolling or driving the beach during these low tide moments.
Nearby are the Ahipara Gumfields Historic Reserve as well as the remnants of ancient kauri forests. This is a very popular camping spot for those visiting Ninety Mile Beach.
Accommodation – Ninety Mile Beach
For those who aren’t interested in camping at the Ahipara campsidte, accommodation options include motels, bed, and breakfasts, and self-contained holiday homes or units.