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.
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
|Winter gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
(Non daylight savings)
How to get to 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).
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Distance from Auckland CBD
The last 6km of the route is a winding gravel road.
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.