Regional parks

Important notice

Please note that bookings close at 8pm for all campgrounds and baches.  No bookings can be taken over the phone or in person on park after this time.  

No cash payments are available at any time on park.  For all payment methods, click here.

We strongly recommend that you call our contact centre in advance of your arrival on park on 09 366 2000, option 2, to make your booking.

 


Dogs are prohibited at all times.

About
Park facilities
Park activities
Tracks
History

About this park

Set on a remote peninsula, Tawharanui Regional Park boasts some of the Auckland region's most beautiful white sand beaches, rolling pastures, shingled bays, native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands.

Tāwharanui is New Zealand’s first open sanctuary integrating conservation, recreation and farming. Pest free habitat provides a safe home for threatened native wildlife. To help keep Tāwharanui free of pests please check your vehicle and belongings for stowaway pests before you visit. Dogs are prohibited at all times. To volunteer or find out more visit Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society.


Opening hours

Pedestrian access Open 24 hours
Summer gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
(Daylight savings)
Winter gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
(Non daylight savings)

How to get to Tawharanui

Physical Adress:   1181 Takutu Road, Tawharanui

Take State Highway 1 north to Warkworth. Follow the signs to Matakana. Just past Matakana turn right at the Omaha turn off, drive along Takatu Road and the park is well sign posted. (Note: The last 6km of the route is a winding gravel road).

View larger map

Distance from Auckland CBD

90 km

Access issues

The last 6km of the route is a winding gravel road.


Maps

Park facilities

Beaches
Beaches

There are four white sandy beaches on Tawharanui’s north coast totalling 3 kilometres. The main beach is Anchor Bay which is approximately 360 metres of white sand and is in close proximity to picnic areas. It is an easy 70 - 80 meter walk from the main car park to Anchor Bay.

Boat ramp
Boat ramp

There is no boat ramp at Tawharanui, However boats up to 3 Metres can be hand launched and retrieved. The nearest boat ramp is at Omaha Beach.

Cellphone coverage
Cellphone coverage

Patchy; some areas on the park have ok coverage but some do not.

Dog Walking Prohibited
Dog Walking Prohibited

Parkland, access roads & adjoining beaches, council land at the park entrance: Dogs are prohibited (including dogs in vehicles).

Interpretation
Interpretation

A number of informative interpretation panels can be found dotted around the park providing information on park history, historic buildings, trees and restoration work. The Ecology Trail offers an educational experience with information on flora and fauna and located 70 meters through the pest proof gate is the “Koru”; a display piece of pest proof fencing that has information on Tawharanui's journey to becoming an Open Sanctuary.

Limited mobility parking
Limited mobility parking

There is one designated car park at Anchor Bay.

Limited mobility toilet
Limited mobility toilet

There are 4 toilets suitable for limited mobility at Tawharanui. ● Anchor Bay: Via the ramp at the car park and paved path to the toilet block. ● Jones Bay: Some assistance may be required to get along the metal path to the toilet block. ● Tents Only Campground: In bay 3. ● All Modes Campground: In a central location near the back. Assistance may be required to get across the grass to reach the campground toilet blocks.

Long drop / vault toilet
Long drop / vault toilet

(For limited mobility options see the “Limited mobility toilet‘ icon). Tawharanui has a total of 10 vault toilet blocks, all of which are unisex. ● Jones bay: 2 toilet blocks containing 2 cubicles each. ● Anchor Bay: 2 toilet blocks containing 2 cubicles each. ●The Tents Only Campground: 5 toilet blocks each containing two toilet cubicles. ● The All Modes Campground: 1 toilet block containing 3 toilet cubicles.

Mobility access (partial)
Mobility access (partial)

There is no formed path for access to the beach. Sand ladders provide access points to Anchor Bay and the camp ground beaches. For special access provisions contact us on (09) 301 0101.

Native bush
Native bush

Tawharanui boasts some stunning areas of remnant and restored native forest with both mature and young trees such as Kauri, puriri, totara and pohutukawa among much else. See the “Tracks” tab at the top of this page for the best ways to experience these.

Notice board
Notice board

Information boards are located throughout Tawharanui Regional Park. The main notice board, “The Koru”, is located approximately 500 metres into the park; between the pest proof fence and the ranger station. There are also notice boards located in the campground area, lagoon car park and at Anchor bay. These notice boards may contain a map, visitor operations information, codes and bylaws, tide charts and park brochures and interpretation

Parking
Parking

There are three designated car parks. ●Jones Bay car park: 90 spaces (10 out side the gate and 80 inside). ● Lagoon car park: 12 spaces. ●Anchor Bay Car Park: 200 spaces

Picnic tables
Picnic tables

There are no desginated picnic areas but find your own favourite spot. Feel free to bring your own gas BBQ. Groups of 50 or more require a permit.

Potable water
Potable water

Potable Water is available at the following locations within the Park. ● Jones Bay: 1 tap along from the toilet ● Lagoon car park: 1 tap by the car park near the board walk in front of the estuary ● Anchor Bay: 3 taps along the foreshore. ● Campgrounds: One or two taps in each of the campground bays.

Pram access
Pram access

Suitable for pram access, especially if remaining at beach level at Anchor Bay and Jones Bay picnic areas. Mountain buggies may be able to get further along some of the tracks.

Ranger contact phone
Ranger contact phone

Located outside, to the right of the ranger station front door.

Ranger office
Ranger office

Located on the left, 50 meters on from the pest proof automatic vehicle gate.

Security gates
Security gates

An automatic gate is located at the park entrance at the end of Takatu Road. This gate opens and closes automatically. See “about this park” for details. It will automatically open for vehicles exiting the park at all times.

Unsealed access road
Unsealed access road

The last 6 kilometers of Takatu Road are unsealed.

Park activities

History

Māori lived in this area for more than 800 years. Until the 1870s the park was occupied by a small hapü (sub tribe) of the Te Kawerau people called Ngäti Raupö.

Täwharanui provided a rich variety of marine and forest resources, symbolised by the saying: “He whā tāwhara ki uta; he kiko tāmure ki tai.” “The flowering bracts of the kiekie on the land; the flesh of the snapper in the sea.” Waikōkōwai (Anchor Bay) provided a valued source of kōkōwai or red ochre, which was used for ceremonial and decorative purposes.

The people lived mainly around the catchment of the Mangatawhiri Stream. Near the park entrance was a significant pā known as “Ōpōnui” and above the stream outlet is “Pā-hï” or “lofty fortified settlement.”

After 1870 Tāwharanui was developed as a farm by the Martin, Jones and Young families. Kauri timber was milled and shingle was extracted from the park, creating the so-called Jones Bay Lagoon. The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) purchased the park from the Georgetti family in 1973.