Today, Kaipara offers a picturesque backdrop for boaties, farmers and holidaymakers alike. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a natural playground at Ātiu Creek Regional Park, beloved by walkers, bikers and equestrians. Go chasing for waterfalls around Omeru Reserve to find a great picnic spot at either of the park’s two falls – Omeru Falls is a fab spot for swimming.
Jump on a half-day or multi-day cruise aboard the M. V. Kewpie Too and enjoy a tour of Kaipara Harbour. You’ll be treated to some informative yarns, plus views of bays and inlets only visible by boat.
Into art? Meander the kilometre-long arts trail at Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, a creative garden centre with Kiwi-made sculpture. Further north, visit Gibbs Farm to see large-scale sculptures that work in tandem with the rural landscape. It’s a working farm, too, but not one you might expect – think giraffes, zebra and the like.
Venture into the backcountry on a private four- to five-hour walk starting at the Mataia Homestead, which has been run by the same family for six generations. Make it a weekend trip by staying at the historic homestead, which sleeps up to 12 people.
Want in on a secret? South Head, north-west of Helensville, is a secluded peninsula with beaches, lakes and Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park. If it’s sunny, be sure to venture to Mosquito Beach for a refreshing swim.
Don’t miss the Kaukapakapa Village Market, held on the third Sunday of the month, for a stroll-worthy selection of stalls including crafts, preserves, fresh produce and antiques.
Location Te wāhi
KaiparaPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
It’s a 45-minute drive to Helensville, located at the southern tip of Kaipara Harbour.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Visiting again? The displays at Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens change every year, which new exhibitions opening every November.