We booked into Whatuwhiwhi (which we learned how to pronounce properly thanks to Izzy at Ahipara Horse Treks who didn’t laugh too much at our original pronunciation) as a great in-between spot between Kerikeri and Pukenui without actually realising just how much the Karikari Peninsula had to offer.
We packed a lot into the time we were there and I’m sure there is even more to explore but here are our top 5 spots to visit on the Karikari Peninsula
#1 – Matai Bay
Thanks to Roshelle over on our Getting Lost page and Mike at the campground for this tip off on this little gem of a beach.
Located at the very far end of the peninsula it boasts white sands and clear waters and was the first of the many little wrap around bays we saw on our travels down the east coast of northland and through the peninsula.
There were wildflowers growing on the shoreline heading down to the white shores and turquoise waters.
Over the other side was another clear bay with a little tunnel created by trees.
Thanks to Terri over on our Getting Lost page and James cousin Mike for this tip off on another great beach on the peninsula.
The day we went down it was too rough for swimming but it is such a lovely little spot!
#3 Carrington Estate
Had planned on going to Karikari Estate because it was the northernmost vineyard but was closed for winter (opening Labour Weekend) so went across the road to Carrington Estate (which surely is currently the most northernmost).
The first thing you notice is the stunning views out over the golf course that go on for miles.
The restaurant had truly brilliant service despite some questionable table manners from the girls at the table. The food was great and the wine from the vineyard across the road was awesome as well as James and I got into some wine tasting.
James popped out here for a vape and spotted an epic infinity pool which we definitely didn’t sneak into but if we did it might have looked like this!
Next time we are definitely staying here – in fact we very almost cancelled our reservations and did this time! A 3 bedroom apartment was only $295 so it’s a definite on our list of places to come back to.
#4 Whatuwhiwhi Top Ten
You guessed it, the northernmost Top Ten holiday park. With stunning views out over the ocean we had a little cabin up the very top of the park which slept us all with ease.
There is no playground as such but with the ocean right across the road and kayaks to rent the kids didn’t seem to mind.
It’s very quiet and is the perfect low cost base to explore the peninsula and has Foreshores Takeaways just up the road for a quick dinner.
#5 Coca Cola Lakes
From the first time that Marie mentioned the Coca Cola lakes on the Getting Lost Facebook page I was intrigued so we set off down Ramp Road to find this. I’m so glad we did – visiting the Coca Cola lakes was one of the absolute highlights of the trip!
The kids were straight in the Coca Cola coloured water and loved it. There were a couple of locals there when we arrived and they were telling us about how the locals put a ladder in the middle to jump in during summer so definitely a spot we want to go back to.
After they left it was only us left so the kids stripped off and went skinny dipping in the lake. It’s the first time they have ever done it and they thought it was hilarious and the mineral water is so good for your skin so I guess they got the full benefit of that!
The water colour is insane! The brown and red highlights come alive in the sunlight and the kids got some great videos on the Gopro (over on the Facebook page).
It really is a must do if you are up that way.