Tutukaka Head

Track category

Walking track


1 hr


2 km


Coastal views from Tutukaka Head.
Coastal views from Tutukaka Head

Two tracks lead from the car park:

  • The main track to the Tutukaka lighthouse
  • A short walk that drops down the south side of the headland 

The track to the Tutukaka lighthouse runs along the top of a headland, through pohutukawa planted in recent years by the community. Stairs lead you down onto the rocks. Follow the old lighthouse power-poles to where the track recommences on Kukutauwhao Island (maintained by the Whangarei District Council).

Kukutauwhao is only an island at high tide because of a deep gut, which fills with water. Crossing this is difficult around high tide or in rough conditions. On Kukutauwhao Island the track runs along the left hand side of the headland providing great vies of the surrounding northward coastline. The track then deviates into the middle of the headland and travels up through bush consisting mainly of cabbage trees, flax and manuka. After a final short climb, the track finishes at the Tutukaka lighthouse on the end of the headland with steep cliffs, where outstanding views reward your efforts.

Getting there

Access to the reserve at the north head of Tutukaka Harbour is via a right of way, which is sign posted off Matapouri Road 400 m past the Oceans Resort Hotel. This road is a private access marked by a ‘Private Road’ sign. The public only have right of passage – please respect other people’s privacy.

Please drive carefully. A narrow bit on this road is clearly marked. Limited parking is available at a car park at the entrance of the reserve.


Diving and snorkelling Diving and snorkelling
Fishing Fishing

For the less energetic, there are several small bays handy to the car park. Take care around young native trees planted by the local community in this area.

Tutukaka offers a whole host of things to do, swimming, boating, fishing, surfing, scuba diving, sight seeing, line fishing trips, deep sea fishing, exciting beaches to discover and explore.

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Plan and prepare


Cliffs/fall hazards present. Supervise children.

Help stop kauri dieback

Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
  • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.

Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.


Find out more


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Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Kauri dieback disease is attacking kauri trees in Northland. Stop it spreading.


Total fire ban

There is a total fire ban within the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts, effective from 1 February 2015 until further notice.

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code

1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Northland places


Whangarei Office
Phone:      +64 9 470 3300
Email:   whangarei@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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