About 18 miles south of Whangarei, there’s a sign of off State Highway 1 for Uretiti Beach Campground. Tall, rugged cliffs, a glimpse of the sparkling South Pacific Ocean, and the rare sight of natural sand dunes made us pull over and check it out.
If you’d like to just take a walk or have a beach day, you can park your vehicle in the public parking lot. Around the parking lot you’ll also find a public toilet and a real fruit ice cream stand. The ice cream goes for $5.50 each… Prices here kill me.
But the camping fee won’t! This is a DOC campsite, and likely the very best campground on a beach that we had ever seen. You’ll get a spot for $13/adults, $10/kids, and free for 5 and under.
Uretiti beach is “our kind of beach:” stunning and sparsely visited, the sand soft and smooth. Pictures will give a more concise idea of why this place is well worth your time.
The camping ground provides wide, open spaces and shady groves, perfect for camping with friends, as well as secluded spots under trees. The camping here was reminiscent of our campsites in the USA. Water is provided from spigots, and there are even little water spots next to them for the birds’ enjoyment. 🙂
Ample long-drop toilets are scattered throughout the campground. They are well maintained and supplied with toilet paper and soap, the two essentials we hardly ever find in restrooms outside of Western countries. Hot showers are available for $2. There were no kitchen facilities that we were aware of. Campers there came with their own grills and every modern convenience known to a regular home, splayed out between camper vans and luxurious tents. Kiwis know how to make camping a true vacation.
Just look at this one- it’s basically a little house!
We would have loved to stay here if we hadn’t just spent three weeks in the Whangarei area already for a house sit. After a tuna fish sandwich, we continued on our way south, but were so impressed and pleased with this spot that we wanted to share it with you. Whether you make it a short stop on a long drive as we did, spend the day, or stay the night, we hope you have an awesome time!