All our regional parks are rubbish free. Whether you call it rubbish, trash or garbage, please bag it all up and recycle it or throw it away when you return home.
Major road works will be undertaken by Auckland Transport this summer to upgrade and seal the last 4km of road to Tāwharanui Regional Park, the works will reduce the road to one lane and cause delays. We ask that you take extra care when traveling along this section of Takatu Road.
Set on a remote peninsula, Tāwharanui 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.
The last 6km of the route is a winding gravel road.
Open Sanctuary, all parkland, access roads & adjoining beaches, council land at the park entrance: No dog at all times, including dogs in vehicles.
Click here for information about which regional parks prohibit dog walking
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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There are four white sandy beaches on Tāwharanui’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.
There is no boat ramp at Tāwharanui, However boats up to 3 Metres can be hand launched and retrieved. The nearest boat ramp is at Omaha Beach.
Patchy; some areas on the park have ok coverage but some do not.
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 Tāwharanui's journey to becoming an Open Sanctuary.
There is one designated car park at Anchor Bay.
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.
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.
No amplified music is allowed. This includes bluetooth speakers and Amps.
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.
Information boards are located throughout Tāwharanui 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
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
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 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.
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.
Located outside, to the right of the ranger station front door.
Located on the left, 50 meters on from the pest proof automatic vehicle gate.
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.
(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.
The last 6 kilometers of Takatu Road are unsealed.
Bird watching opportunities are plentiful at Tawharanui with the Open Sanctuary giving you the chance to see many rare native species. Saddleback, North Island robin, bellbird, fantail, pateke and the occasional kaka are just some of the birds that may be seen during the day time. Kiwi and morepork are active and occasionally seen during the later hours. Restoration of habitat is on-going and will help provide the environment for further introductions of rare and interesting flora and fauna.
Tawharanui is a popular spot for many kinds of boating. There are no boat ramps or boat launching facilities within Tawharanui but they can be launched from Point Wells, Omaha and Sandspit. There is launching at Campbells Beach and Baddleys Beach but this can only be done at full tide.
Customers are allowed to bring boats on trailers into the campground as long as they are not over 5 metres in length. Boats of 3 metres or less can be hand launched from any of Tawharanui’s beaches. Hand launched and retrieved boats must be carried over the parkland from the car park so as to not damage the grass.
There are two campgrounds on the northern coast of Tawharanui Regional Park. The opportunity to stay over night in an open sanctuary and the chance to hear the call of a kiwi.
Tawharanui Tents Only Campground, a stand alone tent only campground with a capacity of 200 persons, and Tawharanui All Modes Campground an all modes (up to 8 metres in length) campground with a capacity of 80 persons.
These are the most popular camping grounds in the regional parks network, early booking is recommended if you are planning to stay over the summer months.
The Tawharanui Marine Reserve along the northern coastline of the park makes for great diving opportunities. It is a protected marine area, so look but please don’t touch. There is a 150 metre walk to carry your diving gear from the Anchor Bay car park.
Enjoy the sight of farm animals grazing peacefully at Tawharanui. Tawharanui is an Open Sanctuary with a working sheep and cattle farm. In the springtime, lambs are a popular sight attracting many visitors. You are free to wander through the paddocks containing farm animals but please follow any safety signs and respect restricted areas. Please leave gates as you find them.
Tawharanui offers some good fishing opportunities on the south coast. Fishing is strictly prohibited along the northern coastline defined by the Tawharanui Marine Reserve. Most of the northern coastline is in the Marine Reserve. Large yellow triangles mark the western and eastern boundaries. All fishing and/or removal of shellfish, removal or destruction of driftwood, plant and marine animal life within the Tawharanui Marine Reserve area is strictly prohibited.
Other Coastlines: Customers need to be aware of the fishing and non-fishing areas. Fishing along coastlines outside of the Marine Reserve is permitted and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) regulations apply.
Kayak, canoe and sail opportunities exist at Tawharanui. For a paddle around the Marine Reserve, water craft of less than 3 meters in length can be launched easily from Anchor Bay in calm weather. They must be carried 150 meters over the parkland from the car park so as to not damage the grass.
The lagoon at the lagoon car park is very safe and sheltered for practicing and learning to kayak, canoe or sail in most weather conditions.
Mountain biking is welcome at Tawharanui with some easy family mountain biking along metal farm tracks as well as some more challenging grass and dirt riding on the hills of the South Coast and West End Tracks. Great views are available for all difficulty levels. Please note that the two way farm tracks are also used by walkers, park vehicles and farm animals so please keep to the left on these tracks and be aware of other track users. Mountain biking is prohibited along bush walking tracks but is allowed on bush vehicle tracks. Click on the links below to access track information:
There are no bookable picnic sites but it is easy to find a favourite spot of your own. Feel free to bring your own gas barbeque. Groups of 50 people or more require a discretionary consent. Conditions apply and consent is granted on a case by case basis.
Tawharanui offers some spectacular views. From the picturesque Anchor Bay to stunning ocean views via the elevated multi-use tracks and lookout points where several islands of the Hauraki Gulf are clearly visible.
Tawharanui is a popular location for surfers, especially if there is a swell on the east coast. There are a couple of north facing beaches which make for good surfing in winds ranging from south west to south east.
The bays at Tawharanui are great for swimming. There are four white sandy beaches to choose from on the northern coast with the picturesque Anchor Bay being very popular.
The Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc (TOSSI) was created to help the Open Sanctuary become a reality through fundraising and volunteer work. It integrates the conservation of native species, farming, and public recreation, allowing visitors to get in touch with nature and the species within.
Click here for further information about TOSSI and how to get involved.
If you would like to recive further updates about this project, please email email@example.com
Become a camp host and enjoy a free and extended stay at the amazing Tawharanui Open Sanctuary. We are always looking for campground host for the Tawharanui campgrounds. Please contact the northern regional parks office for details.
A great way to explore Tawharanui is via the network of walking and multi-use tracks that offer amazing ocean views or a close up nature experience within forest, bush and wetlands. Some of the longer tracks can take 1-3 hours and vary in difficulty and accessibility. Make your way to the end of the peninsula and experience stunning views along the North-South Coast Track or experience Tawharanu is flora and fauna up close on the Ecology Trail.
Click on links below for track information:
Tawharanui has some interesting short walks that feature magnificent viewpoints and scenery. From the Anchor Bay car park; take the short 170 metre walk to a great lookout point at the start of the west end track or a 400 metre walk along the north coast track which will take you to a great lookout point at Flat Rock. For a quick touch of nature; take a walk along the Fishermans Track for a relatively quick and easy way to experience some of Tawharanui’s stunning views and wildlife. Click on links below for track information:
The park is not a wedding venue site. It is an outdoor venue for appropriate outdoor events. A wedding event is just one of many different outdoor events that may take place at Tawharanui Regional Park. Normal group booking rules apply.
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.
Click here for a leaflet that contains background information about the area.
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