There are several beautiful beaches on the Tutukaka Coast, east of Whangarei. We chose to visit Whale Bay and Matapouri Bay via the Otito Track. This loop starts and ends at the Whale Bay car park on Matapouri Road.
The loop takes in fantastic views, side walks to Whale Bay, and a viewpoint, with strips of mature native forest and regrowth. Allow about 90 minutes to complete the loop, excluding beach stops, swims and picnics.
Starting at the carpark, head towards Whale Bay. After 300 metres, head down to the beach or take the headland track to the right. It follows the ridge and fence line to a viewpoint at the top of the cliff above Pebbly Beach. Continue on the cliff track till it drops down to Pebbly Beach, then cut through to Otito Reserve and Matapouri Beach. The Hole in the Rock for access towards Rangitapu Point is to the left and Matapouri village to the right.
A circular walk can be completed back through the village to the car park via Morrison Rd and Ringer Ave.
Nearby Tutukaka town is also the gateway to the marine reserve around the Poor Knights Islands.
Thanks to Jan Rozek for providing the photos.